Wink Hub, How We Got Here

It all started off so well in 2014. $79 Wink hub promises to fix smart home fragmentation.

And then things took a turn for the peculiar by 2017. Smart home platform Wink has been acquired by will.i.am.

It would seem Wink had a fairly troubled past.

Wink has had a rocky existence, starting life as part of the failing tech incubator Quirky, only to be spun-off after Quirky went bankrupt. In an emailed statement, Wink said both the app and the Wink hub will continue to operate as before.

In December 2017 there was hope? New features.

Wink users can add basically any Sonos speaker to their Wink Hub 2 and control it through Wink’s smart home app, just like you’d add a new light bulb or thermostat to the system. Other smart home systems like Samsung’s SmartThings have supported the feature since 2014, so Wink is behind the curve here.

Then two years later in October 2019:

Will.i.am’s technology company i.am+ is running out of money, according to current employees, company emails, and documents obtained by The Verge. As a result, two current employees of smart home platform Wink — which i.am+ acquired in 2017 — tell The Verge that workers haven’t been paid in seven weeks, and that their office in Schenectady, New York has been temporarily closed.

And now we’re here.

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