The Wink Hub consolidates existing protocols into one so that whether or not the smart thermostat you have your eye on runs on Zigbee or Bluetooth LE doesn't matter.

Smart Home Interview - Wink

Brett Worthington, Vice President & General Manager | Wink

Wink is a smart home platform that connects hundreds of products from trusted brands - GE, Nest, Schlage and many others - in a single, easy-to-use app. 

A number of our partner products communicate directly with the Wink app (available for free download via the Apple App Store and Google Play). Others require the Wink Hub, a universal translator that consolidates the half a dozen language protocols found in smart home devices into one. We differentiate between these products with a sticker on the packaging of our partner products that reads either "Wink app compatible, Wink Hub required" or "Wink app ready, no Wink Hub required." 

In October 2014, we introduced Wink Relay, a touchscreen panel that brings the power of Wink onto your wall. Its a physical manifestation of the features people know and love about the mobile app and can be installed in the room that you want to have serve as your in-home command center.

Our ultimate goal is to make the smart home accessible and customizable based on personal needs and preferences. Some people want the ability to control their lights remotely. Others would rather monitor their home temperature from afar. Wink is committed to giving consumers that choice so they can select the parts of the smart home that make most sense for them. We feel that approach continues to differentiate us within the increasingly crowded smart home industry.

Which technologies do your products use to communicate with each other and how does it work?

The Wink Hub supports leading smart home communication protocols including Bluetooth LE, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Z-Wave, Lutron ClearConnect, and Kidde. Many products using these protocols will have long-lasting battery life (1-3 years for some) which is ideal for battery-powered devices like locks and sensors. Additionally, these technologies were designed to use “mesh networking” for long-range communication around your home. That means certain products can pass wireless communications from one product to the next to help extend the range.

Do your products communicate with products from other manufacturers using a standard protocol? (which one)

The beauty of Wink is that our platform is truly protocol-agnostic. The Wink Hub consolidates existing protocols into one so that whether or not the smart thermostat you have your eye on runs on Zigbee or Bluetooth LE doesn't matter. Our goal is to connect people with as many products from industry leading brands as possible. Taking a protocol-agnostic approach goes a long way to helping us realize that.

What types of devices do you manufacture or provide?


  • Hubs
  • Controllers
  • Software / Apps

Can your products be installed by the homeowner or are special skills and tools required?

Wink is designed to be a simple, DIY experience. We've worked with our partners to create intuitive interaction within the app and include easy to follow instructions every time you add a new product to your home's smart ecosystem. And if you run into any issues along the way, Wink offers 24/7 customer support. The same ease-of-use extends to our hardware; the Wink Hub can be installed within a matter of minutes. While Wink Relay can be also installed individually, we do recommend professional installation. 

In a short paragraph or 2 please describe how your products fit into a Smart Home scenario and how they are set up to work together to perform automated tasks.

Wink exists to make home automation seamless and Robots and Shortcuts are two functions within the Wink app that bring this to life.

Robots can be programmed so that multiple products work together automatically based on triggers, such as location or activity. You could set up a Robot so that unlocking your front door will turn on the hallway lights, raise the smart shades in your living room and start up the air conditioner. 

Shortcuts let you control multiple products with one tap in the Wink app. For example, you can create a Shortcut that turns off a group of lights or one that automates all the tasks you'd do at various points in the day ('Goodnight' could turn off your bedroom lights, lock the front door and turn down the heat).


More Interviews and Facts in our Smart Home Library article.

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