Most home automation products currently on the market crow about smartphone/tablet integration. In fact, Wink’s first product, Wink Hub, relies on an iOS/Android app to control and manage all of the home automation gadgets that Wink Hub connects.

But the all-new Wink Relay takes a different approach to home automation by bringing its controls back to a familiar place…

Wink Relay lives right where you’d expect to control household appliances like lights, doors, and your air condition: the wall. That means you aren’t out of luck if you happen to leave your smartphone behind. It also makes it easier for guests to take control. Simply walk up to the 4.3-inch multi-touch screen to manage your home’s smart lights, locks, thermostats, and more.

But it’s more than just a controller. Relay packs two smart switches, a proximity sensor, and mic/speaker for notification sounds and an upcoming intercom feature.

wink-app-home-automation

Dozens of current smart devices from the biggest names in home automation are Wink certified: Dropcam wireless video cameras, Honeywell thermostats, Philips Hue lights, Kwikset deadbolts, Schlage deadbolts, Lutron lightning accessories, and many more.

Wink Relay is now available for preorder from Amazon for $300 and is scheduled to begin shipping later this fall.

For more information please refer to the Wink FAQ:

What is Wink? Wink is the quick and simple way to connect you and the products you rely on every day in your home. You can manage products from multiple brands in a single app, allowing you to select the products that are right for your life.

How is the Wink app different than the previous version that I downloaded? When the Wink app was created, it was the app for connected products from Quirky+GE. Wink has now expanded to partner with 15 leading brands and support 60+ products. Please download the latest version of the app to ensure you have the most updated support for the additional partner products.

What mobile platforms do you support? Currently Wink supports Android mobile, Android Wear, and iOS. Download the app for free from the iTunes App Store or Google Play.

Do you support Windows or Blackberry? No. We currently support Android mobile, Android Wear, and iOS.

What about tablets? Currently we are focused on expanding our mobile phone support but are looking to expand support to apps that are optimized for Android and iOS tablets. Stay tuned.

Can I access my Wink products through a desktop connection? Wink is available on Android mobile, Android Wear, and iOS. Currently, there is no desktop support.

What about mobile web? We currently do not support mobile web access. Download the free Wink app from iTunes App Store or Google Play.

Can I have multiple users on my Wink account or give access to my products? Yes. You can give access to specific products to other users. You determine who has access and which products they can access. As the master account user, you can add, edit, or remove their access at any time. If you delete the product from your account, the other users will lose access to it as well.

What happens if my power goes out? The Wink HUB requires power and Internet to connect you and your smart products. If you lose connection to the internet, you will still be able to manually control your products but you will not be able to control them via the Wink App. Once the internet connection is restored, your Wink HUB and compatible products will reconnect automatically.

What happens if my internet drops connection? The Wink HUB requires power and Internet to connect you and your smart products. If you lose connection to the internet, you will still be able to manually control your products but you will not be able to control them via the Wink App. Once the internet connection is restored, your Wink HUB and compatible products will reconnect automatically.

In the case of door locks, they use batteries to operate so you can always access the lock manually with your user code or with a key.

What’s the difference between ZigBee and Z-Wave? Quirky makes invention accessible by helping real people like you turn ideas into products. Wink was created to connect Quirky+GE products. Since then it has grown up into a standalone company, forged a partnership with The Home Depot, and connected products from many leading brands. Wink is focused on connecting you with the products you rely on every day around your home. To read more about how Wink came to be, check out this post,Why Our Little Dustpan Company Is Jumping Into The Connected Home, from Ben Kaufman, CEO of Quirky.

How much bandwidth does Wink take on my Wi-Fi Connection? Wink takes a very limited amount of Wifi bandwidth, under 20 mbs per month, which is comparable to any other connected device.

How much battery does the App take? Is there a way to limit it? The Wink app has a feature called “geo-fencing” that allows Aros and other products to turn on automatically when you get close to home and shut off when you leave. Since this feature uses the GPS on your phone to tell your products when to turn on, it uses more battery. If your phone battery is low or you wish to conserve battery usage, turn off geo-fencing for smart schedules.

Is there a maximum number of products that the Wink App can support? While this question seems straightforward it can get a bit technical.

Short answer: Wink is designed to allow you to add many smart products around your home and you can add hundreds of products to the Wink HUB and control them from your Wink app.

Long answer: The Wink HUB supports a variety of protocols to communicate with the different types of smart products around your home. The limit varies by protocol. For example, the Wink HUB can control 230 Z-Wave products so it is safe to say your HUB can control hundreds of products around your home.

Are there detailed tutorials available? Yes. The Wink app contains detailed step-by-step instructions and videos on how to add Wink certified products to your Wink app. We’ll be posting more tips and tutorials in the coming weeks.

How much does Wink cost? The Wink app is free to download and use. The Wink HUB, required for some products, is $79.99. There are no contracts or monthly fees.

Does remote access to my smart products cost anything? No. You don’t need to worry about pricing tiers, usage, number of users, or number of products. Simply put, the Wink app is free to download and use.

Do you integrate with IFTTT? Yes we have integrated with IFTTT for the first 6 Quirky + GE products. Stay tuned for more updates.

If I encounter issues with a Wink-enabled product or the Wink app where do I go for assistance? We know that many people want to add connected products to their home but are wondering if they are tech savvy enough to do it. Wink is designed for those people. You can just scan the barcode of the product you want to add to see intuitive step-by-step instructions and video in the app. If you need any help, we have your back with a customer support team that is open 7 days a week. Email us at support@winkapp.com or call 1-844-WINK-APP to speak to a real person.

About the Author