Introducing Wink Hub 2

In 2014, Wink set out to make the smart home simple, intuitive, and accessible. 

A big part of turning that mission into reality was the Wink Hub.

By including support for all major smart home device protocols, we gave consumers the flexibility to choose the products they like from the brands they trust. Our users have connected over 1.7 million products to Wink as a result. It also allowed us to be inclusive in our partnerships. If a product adds meaningful value for Wink users, we'll look for ways to bring it aboard regardless of the manufacturer. Today, there are 31 companies that work with Wink. 

We're proud of what the Wink Hub has enabled us to accomplish, but it was just the beginning.

Meet Wink Hub 2

Since the launch of the original Hub, we've listened carefully to your feedback, comments, and questions to see if we could improve. We've done a ton of research to make our setup process easier,  and to find out how families and individuals are using Wink. We've taken that feedback to heart and created a next generation smart home hub that's unlike any other. Better, faster, more reliable, and more secure, Wink Hub 2 unlocks the magic of the smart home, today.

  • Improved connectivity: A new Wi-Fi radio that supports both 2.4 and 5GHz networks and the introduction of an Ethernet port provide a more reliable and smooth network connection.
  • Industry leading device support: We've improved the Bluetooth LE radio in Wink Hub 2 and introduced a Thread-capable radio. That, along with support for Kidde, Lutron Clear Connect, Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, and ZigBee means Wink Hub 2 works with more smart home technologies than any other.
  • Local control for Schedules and Robots: With a faster processor and 8x more memory, Wink Hub 2 runs advanced automations like Schedules (which prompt certain actions to take place at certain times of the day) and Robots (through which one product can trigger a series of actions in other products) locally for increased speed and reliability. 
  • Enhanced security: New hardware features - including cryptographic verification - have been added to prevent tampering, and ensure Wink Hub 2 only runs trusted software. 
  • Refined design: 25% slimmer, Wink Hub 2 sports a sleeker look and more elegant finish. We wanted it to be worthy of being featured prominently in the home, instead of gathering dust in a cabinet next to your router. The vertical design also ensures Wink Hub 2 communicates with your smart products smoothly.

Check out more about Wink Hub on our website here.

Wink app 5.0 to bring major software upgrades

Version 5.0 of the Wink software - soon to be released - introduces a number of industry-firsts to the Wink mobile app.

  • Easier setup: The Wink app will auto-discover your Wink Hub 2 when you plug it in for the first time and prompt you to connect it to your account. The already intuitive setup process has been drastically simplified to be even faster and easier.
  • Hub-to-hub transfer process: We've built a brand new infrastructure that will allow current Wink Hub owners to transfer over their smart products, automations, and personal settings to Wink Hub 2. It all occurs effortlessly within the Wink app in a matter of minutes.

Where can I buy Wink Hub 2?

We're really excited to announce that Wink Hub 2 will be coming to Walmart as Wink strives to bring our vision of an accessible smart home to millions of consumers in new markets.

Wink Hub 2 has an MSRP of $99 (U.S.) and will be available in late October at The Home Depot, select Walmart stores and on Walmart.com, Amazon.com, and Wink.com. The Wink mobile app is available for free download through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

What if I already own a Wink Hub?

Rest assured that we will continue to support the original Wink Hub just as we always have, with new features and partner product integrations coming soon. We're not switching it off, nor is our commitment to it changing in any way.

The original Wink Hub is still available for purchase for $69 (U.S.) while supplies last at The Home Depot, Amazon.com, and Wink.com. 

Bringing the smart home to everyone, everywhere

We believe the smart home should, and can, make life safer, more seamless, and a little bit easier.

Whether that's making sure the doors are locked, garage shut, and temperature adjusted when you're ready for bed, triggering the hallway lights if smoke is detected, or simply being able to shut off an appliance from afar, we've got your back.

Wink Hub 2 takes the smart home to the next level and we can't wait for you to experience it. Stay tuned! 

Meet Matt Bornski: Wink’s Director & Chief Architect of Enterprise Services

 

We’re lucky to have a team full of loud characters and larger than life personalities. Get to know Matt Bornski - the self-professed chattiest of them all - who has been with Wink since 2013 and is our Director & Chief Architect of Enterprise Services (a mysterious and very important role).

 

Q: You’re the Director & Chief Architect of Enterprise Services at Wink. What does that mean?

A: As the director of enterprise services, I try to find new markets and partnerships beyond the traditional notion of the smart home. 

As the chief architect, I make sure these partnerships build on the strengths of the platform and contribute to our user-focused mission. 

Q: What got you interested in Wink in the first place?

A: I was dabbling in home automation in my spare time for a year or two before Wink. I decided I really wanted to make my hobby into my job, and was introduced to Wink’s founder Nathan Smith. Hearing what he wanted to do with Wink got me excited.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about working at Wink?

A: The product is actually useful to real people. It passes the “grandma test,” which means I can explain it to my grandma without cutting too many corners. When I pour my heart into a product, and spend a lot of waking hours on it, it’s incredibly satisfying to be able to have my friends and family understand what it does.

Q: Which three words would you use to describe working at Wink?

A: Focused, fierce, fun.

Q: If you could choose anything in the world to work with Wink, what would it be and why?

A: The “wake-up light,” which is a light that gradually brightens prior to your phone’s scheduled alarm time, making it easy to get out of bed when the alarm goes off. 

Q: Where do you see the smart home in 5 years?

A: I’m a big believer that I shouldn’t have to be at home to have a smart environment. I look forward to building a world in which cars, trains, planes, airports, hotels, and streets all make my life a little easier.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re not working?

A: I’m a recovering outdoorsman, so sometimes I’ll still make time for camping or hiking. I live in downtown San Jose and you’ll often find me pushing a stroller between a few of our finer taprooms, helping out my pub quiz team. If it’s a nice day you might catch me going for a run or bike ride, and if it’s football season I will not miss a Bears game for any price.

Q: If Wink awarded superlatives, what would you win?

A: Chattiest. Slack keeps stats of this and can confirm.

Q: If you could resurrect one obsolete technology, what would you choose?

A: Semaphore flags. Life would be more awesome if instead of, for instance, stock tickers, we had great colorful flags waving every which way to communicate.

Q: If Wink were an animal, what would it be and why?

A: Definitely an otter because they’re sleek but highly functional and intelligent. They use the right tool for the task at hand instead of relying on brute force. Plus it looks super fun to be an otter.

User Spotlight: How Wink Helped Steph Courdin regain independence

The beauty of the smart home is how customizable it can be. Some like it for the energy savings it affords. Others for the convenience of knowing they can monitor the status of their home at any time with a quick glance. 

For former software customer success manager Steph Courdin, the smart home has provided a new lease on the mobility that ALS - a terminal neuron disorder - has taken away from his daily life.

A resident of Lakewood, Colorado, Steph was diagnosed with ALS in 2013, joining a community of 30,000 Americans living with ALS/MND and a broader group of 3.3 million whose impaired movement requires a wheelchair.

In a large multi-story home with his wife and three children, living with this disorder makes many everyday activities difficult. Muscular degeneration prevents Steph from raising his hands high enough to reach a light switch or his thermostat, which is inaccessibly located on the second floor.

After trying a variety of different home automation systems, last Christmas Steph found an unlikely solution to regain some autonomy. By connecting various household products with Wink, he found he could easily access and control them just like the rest of his family.

Today, the Courdins have a Wink HUB, Honeywell thermostat, seven GE Link bulbs, six Cree Bulbs, Chamberlain’s MyQ garage door opener (his only wheelchair accessible entrance), a Ring video doorbell, and an Amazon Echo (which has quickly become one of Steph’s wife Stacey’s favorite products). He is able to easily adjust temperature, lighting, and more, all from the Wink app on his iPhone which is mounted to his wheelchair. With the assistive touch feature, the sky’s the limit as to what Steph can do with Wink. 

Steph has parlayed his own experience with Wink into speaking with ALS support groups so that others can understand how the smart home might make a difference in their daily lives:

“Wink has made home automation a simple & affordable option, accessible to everyone (compared to thousands of dollars remodeling) especially those of us battling ALS/MND and the limits the diseases impose on trying to live a normal life. I was an avid snowboarder, downhill mountain biker, and equestrian enthusiast. Now, just raising an arm for a light switch is a near impossible task.” 

Stories like Steph’s are what keep us going. Hearing that Wink can make a positive impact on someone’s daily life is proof that our mission to make the smart home accessible for everyone is one worth fighting for.

How to: Use Wink Without Opening the Wink App

It’s late, you’ve just come home from grocery shopping, and your hands are full. Fumbling once you’re through the front door to find the light switch is a hassle. So is searching for your phone before you get out of the car. Luckily, there are a number of ways you can leverage the power of Wink to make everyday tasks in the home a little bit easier to carry out without even opening the Wink app: 

IFTTT

IFTTT (If This, Then That) is a web service that lets you turn many different products and apps - from Instagram and Dropbox, to Google Calendar and Jawbone - into triggers (IFTTT calls them Recipes) for other actions. IFTTT is a great way to expand the depth of your smart home. For example, you could set up an IFTTT Recipe that turns off the lights, locks the door, and adjusts the thermostat when you’re in bed and set your Jawbone UP to sleep mode. Read more about how to use Wink + IFTTT here.

Wink Robots

Robots can be created within the Wink app to make your connected products and even your location a trigger for other actions to take place (similar to IFTTT). You could set one up that triggers the downstairs lights to turn on whenever the sensor on your front door detects it’s being opened, or another that shuts the garage door, locks the door, and shuts off all the lights after you pull out of the driveway every morning. Read more about how to create a Wink Robot here

Wink Schedules

With a Schedule, connected products can be set to turn off products at a desired time, or at Sunrise/Sunset. Particularly handy if you’re someone who often works late into the night, but want to create the illusion that someone is home by having the lights turn on. Read more about how to create a Wink Schedule here.

Amazon Alexa

The Amazon Alexa voice assistant allows you to put many of the automations mentioned above into action, with a simple voice command. You can ask Alexa to turn on/off or dim a Wink-compatible lighting product, or adjust the temperature of a Wink-enabled Nest Thermostat. You can take this a step further by creating a Shortcut within the Wink app (Shortcuts let you control multiple connected products with one tap), activate the Wink Shortcut and Alexa channels within IFTTT, and create The Recipe: “If Alexa is triggered, then activate Wink Shortcut.” 

Wink Relay Now Works with Uber, Fitbit, and IFTTT

Starting today, you can do a lot more with Relay - the Wink touchscreen control panel.  

In addition to controlling the smart products you use every day, Relay can now be used to call an UberⓇ, monitor fitness through Fitbit, and take advantage of the many automations possible with the IFTTT ecosystem. 

We introduced Relay in 2014 to bring the light switch into the digital era. We imagined a beautiful, unobtrusive device in the familiar spot we have become accustomed to controlling our lights from, but with the power to control everything in the home.

The first step was Wink-compatible devices.

We knew there was a need for an additional touch point through which you could control your smart home that didn’t require being tethered to your phone. Mobile phones are inherently personal and rarely shared. Relay provides a common interface for anyone to lock the doors for the night, turn off the lights, or adjust the temperature, easily from the wall.

The next step, starting today, is to unlock a new class of services and experiences that can be accessed through the convenience of Relay. 

THIRD PARTY INTEGRATIONS:

Uber and Fitbit will appear as widgets on the Relay interface as part of an update we’re releasing to all users today. Relay is also now live as a Channel on IFTTT. It’s easy to put all three into action:

Uber

The Uber widget can be found on the Relay homescreen. When you press it for the first time, you will be prompted to log in to your Uber account. The Home location and default credit card on file will automatically carry over, and Relay is now set up to order a ride whenever you need!

When a ride is confirmed and on its way, you'll see how much time you have until it arrives. As the ride gets closer, you'll see your driver’s name and picture, along with the make, model, and license plate of the car. Rides called from your phone will also show up on Relay.

Just like in the Uber mobile app, if there is surge pricing, Relay will prompt you to confirm the fare. If you need to cancel a ride, do so at any time by pressing the cancel button below the ETA. And if your driver cancels your ride, Relay will tell you so you can order a new one.

Fitbit: 

To connect Fitbit, select the Settings icon on the Relay homescreen. Navigate to the Widgets page and then select the top right icon. Then, press Fitbit and you’ll be asked to sign in to your Fitbit account.

From there on out, Fitbit will ambiently display your step count and progress toward your daily step goal on the Relay sleep screen. It’s the perfect fitness nudge on a lazy day (or high five during those crazy times when you’re running around)!

IFTTT: 

You can now turn the two Relay buttons to the right of the touchscreen into triggers for the many automations enabled by IFTTT (pressing the Relay button becomes the “This” in “If This, Then That”).

To get started, log in to your IFTTT account (online or through the IFTTT app) and select “Create a Recipe.” Under “Choose Trigger Channel,” search for and select Wink Relay. You’ll then be prompted to connect IFTTT and Relay by entering your Wink login credentials.

Select which button you want to have trigger the automation, and then you’re off to the fun part: identifying what you want Relay to prompt. For example, a text could be sent to your phone when your child presses a Relay button in the afternoon, letting you know they are home from school safe and sound. 

RELAY PRODUCT UPDATES:

In tandem, we’re introducing a number of enhancements to the Relay user experience.

The microphone and speaker functionality have been enabled so that if you have multiple Relays, you can turn them into an in-home intercom system. Simply press the microphone icon on the top left of the touchscreen, talk as you would normally, and your message will be broadcasted to the other Relays throughout your home. Corralling the family out the door or downstairs for dinner is now a lot less cumbersome. 

In addition, we’ve refreshed the design of the weather and clock widgets on the sleep screen with a sleeker look that’s easier to read at a glance.

Relay makes taking advantage of the technologies and services you love easier, so you can spend less time tethered to your phone. Stay tuned, because ordering a ride, tracking your fitness goals, and communicating around the house are just the beginning of what we have planned. Additional lifestyle experiences will be introduced over the course of 2016.

In the meantime, we hope you enjoy! 

And of course, if you don’t already have Relay you can purchase one (or many) today for $99 at wink.com and Amazon.com.

Save Water and Money This Summer With Smart Sprinkler Systems

Scorching sun and sizzling summer temperatures can do a number on your yard, requiring more and more water to keep the grass and gardens lush. The EPA estimates that water usage on outdoor landscaping is two to four times higher during summer, yet over half of that water is wasted due to evaporation, wind, or overwatering! 

That increase in usage - combined with the summer price hikes many communities implement to balance decreased precipitation levels - can have a huge impact on your watering bill. 

Luckily, smart sprinkler systems like the 1st Generation and 2nd Generation models from Rachio, are a great way to conserve water and save money because they can be completely customized to your landscaping and local weather patterns:

  • Create watering zones: No two parts of any yard are the same. How you water should reflect that. Rachio lets you section off your lawn into zones based on soil and plant type, so the vegetable garden, roses, and grass get the individualized attention they need
  • Let Mother Nature take over: You can sync Rachio with your local weather station so it knows when to water, and when an upcoming storm system will do the job for it.
  • Check what’s happening from afar: Connect your Rachio with the Wink app and you can easily manage, monitor, and adjust your sprinkling schedule remotely.

Monitor savings: Rachio helps you save up to 50% on your outdoor watering bill, and logs your watering history so you can track usage.

Rachio has even teamed up with local water authorities to provide rebates if you live in qualifying communities. Check out if you’re eligible here.

Conserving water, time, and money has never been so easy. Pick up a smart sprinkler system from Rachio today for peace of mind that your outdoor landscape will look its best all summer long without breaking the bank or tapping the well dry.

How To: Create Schlage Lock User Codes

Smart locks are a great addition to any home. They combine flexibility and convenience with high quality security so you’re always in the loop on what’s happening back at the ranch. 

A great feature of the many Wink-compatible Schlage locks is the ability to create user codes. Say you’re going on vacation and need to provide the house sitter and dog walker access to your home. Or your family has a knack for losing their keys, rendering them stuck outside while you’re away at work. User codes are an easy way to grant or revoke access to whomever you choose, while eliminating a little stress along the way. 

User codes can be created directly from the lock’s keypad, or remotely through the Wink app. You can even set a reminder within Wink to delete a code if it was created for someone who only needs to get inside once - a babysitter, for example. 

Getting started is easy:

1. Go to the Locks screen and tap the arrow next to the lock to access the User Code Settings page. You will be asked to enter your Wink Account Password in order to proceed.

2. Select Add User Code to create a code of your preference. New user codes will have to be entered twice for verification. Note - all of the codes you create for a given lock must be the same length (4 digit minimum, 8 digit maximum). If you enter a new code that is longer or shorter than previous codes, those older ones will be deleted.

3. Next, add a name to the user code, along with an optional reminder (you can choose when it is sent) to delete the code if you wish to revoke access. 

That’s it! Once a code is created, it will appear under the User Code Settings page and you can reference it at any point. You will not be able to edit a code once it is created, however you can delete the code and re-create it to your liking. 

To extend the functionality of user codes further, try setting up a Wink Robot that triggers certain actions when a particular code is used. For example, if you typically get home late from work, your user code could be set up to automatically turn on the downstairs lights. 

What To Do With Your Smart Products When Moving

Moving is stressful. Deciding what to do with your smart home products as you’re packing boxes doesn’t have to be. We’re often asked for input on the best way to relocate smart home products into a new environment, along with what to do for those you intend to leave behind. Luckily the steps are simple so we thought we’d outline them for the most common moving scenarios:

OPTION 1: LEAVE EVERYTHING FOR THE NEW RESIDENT TO ENJOY 

Studies show that homes with smart products tend to sell faster than homes without. If you’re a homeowner and have decided to leave your Wink HUB and compatible products, it’s easy to wipe the slate clean for the next resident:

If you’re the one moving away...

  • Navigate to the Hub settings page within the app and remove the HUB from your account (no need to do anything with the other Wink-compatible products).

If you’re the one moving in and inheriting a Wink ecosystem...

  • Congrats - we hope you enjoy! Simply download the Wink app on your iOS or Android mobile device, create an account, and connect the HUB following the in-app instructions. 
  • Once the HUB is connected, all of the previously connected products will become available (note - automations like Robots or Schedules that the previous resident created will not carry over).

OPTION 2: TAKE THE HUB, LEAVE THE PRODUCTS

Say you want to bring your HUB to your new home, but have products like door locks or thermostats that you’d rather not spend the time uninstalling. Decoupling your HUB from your current home while leaving your smart products behind is easy:

If you’re moving and taking your HUB with you...

  • The first step is to restore the smart products you’re leaving behind to their factory default settings. The process is specific to each device, and you can visit our product page to find the manual for each Wink-compatible product.
  • If you will be using the same router, SSID, and Wi-Fi password in your new home, simply plug in the HUB once you arrive and start connecting new products at will! 
  • If you are using a new router or have a new SSID/Wi-Fi password, go to the Hub settings page in the Wink app and select ‘Update Wi-Fi’. 
  • Once the new credentials have been entered, your HUB will successfully connect to your new network and you can begin pairing new products.

If you don’t have a HUB and are moving into a home with existing smart products...

First, download the Wink app on your iOS or Android device and create an account. 
Then, pick up a Wink HUB on our website, The Home Depot, or Amazon, and follow the in-app instructions to connect it with your Wink account.
From there, you can start connecting the smart home products the previous resident left behind in a pinch.

OPTION 3: TAKE THE HUB AND MOVEABLE PRODUCTS WITH YOU

If your smart home consists of products that are easily moveable - light bulbs, cameras, and plug-in modules - you’re in luck! Transitioning them to your new home, is almost effortless. 

  • If you have the same router, SSID, and Wi-Fi password, simply plug the HUB in and start placing your smart products in their new locations. No need to reconnect them to Wink. 
  • If you are using a new router or have a new SSID/Wi-Fi password, go to the Hub settings page in the Wink app and select ‘Update Wi-Fi.’ Once the new credentials have been entered, your HUB will successfully connect to your new network and you can begin pairing your products.

Have you recently moved in, or out or a smart home? Feel free to share your own tips in the comments below! 

Wink Recognized on Albany Times-Union 2016 Top Workplaces List

Our mission at Wink is to bring the best smart home products from the best brands together. Our dedicated, scrappy team works hard day in and day out to make that mission a reality. Today, we’re thrilled to see that work recognized by the Albany Times-Union, who has recognized Wink on their 2016 Top Workplaces list

For the past five years, the Albany Times-Union has identified 50 companies and organizations in the Capital Region as Top Workplaces based solely on employee surveys. Being named to this year’s list is a testament to the passion and dedication of our customer support team in Schenectady, and the unique culture that office has cultivated.

Wink’s customer support team is on the front line of our daily business operations. It is incredibly important to Wink and something we pride ourselves on. No other smart home platform gives users the option to call, email, or chat with dedicated in-house agents. The team supports the entire Wink ecosystem, so whether users have a question about their Wink HUB or one of our many partner products, our agents are fully knowledgeable and trained across the board to assist.

Perched high above State Street, our office is wrapped in floor to ceiling glass providing a front row view of downtown Schenectady. There are no offices or cubicles here; transparency and open lines of communication are key to providing the high quality of support our users have come to depend on. It’s a fun loving, tight knit team that works hard, rallies together, and enjoys the challenge of elevating what’s possible with the smart home.

We couldn’t be more appreciative of this recognition, and always looking for talented individuals to join our growing team! Keep an eye out on our careers page for opportunities in both Schenectady and our New York City headquarters!

Image by Shawn Morgan Photography

Image by Shawn Morgan Photography

Creating a DIY Security System with Wink

One of the main benefits of having a smart home is that you can use it to amplify your home’s security in new and meaningful ways. It doesn’t require expensive, professional installation or the monthly fees common to many third party security providers. With a few products and a baseline knowledge of the different features available in the Wink app, you can quickly and easily create your very own DIY security system. In this post, we’ll outline a few common security use cases, along with the products and setup instructions to get started.

1: AUTOMATE LIGHTS SO IT LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE IS HOME AFTER DARK

If you’re someone who regularly works late (or has a very active after work social life), it’s likely you’re pulling into the driveway or walking into the apartment after it gets dark. With Wink, it’s easy to create the illusion that someone is always home.

Within the Wink app you can create Schedules that prompt single (or multiple) lights to turn on and off at predetermined times. You can also sync a Schedule with Sunset, so that regardless of changing daylight hours throughout the year, Wink will always turn on a porchlight or living room lamp at dusk.

What you’ll need:

  • One smart light bulb (or multiple, depending on the size of your home)
  • One Wink HUB (if required to connect your light bulb with the Wink app) 

How to get started:

  • Check out our blog post on how to setup a Schedule for in-depth instructions here.

2: CONTROL WHO IS ENTERING AND LEAVING YOUR HOME

Our homes can be a zoo of activity with people constantly coming and going. While you can hand out keys to friends and family, a few smart products and the Wink app can make it much easier to not only see from afar who is at the front door, but when they’ve arrived and left. 

The Ring Video Doorbell and a smart Schlage lock (multiple models available) enables this. Within the Wink app, you can create a Robot that notifies you whenever Ring is triggered or when motion is detected (the sensitivity of the motion detector can be changed based on environmental factors near your front door). From there, you can see who is at the front door and if you have a Schlage lock installed, either unlock the door remotely to let the dog sitter, or ignore the pesky salesman and go back to your day.

What’s more, with a Schlage lock you can create separate user codes for the individuals you want to grant access to your home. Once the codes are established, Robots can be created to notify you when a particular user code is used. The activity feed of the Wink app will show you who and when someone comes or goes, so you can breathe easier. 

What you’ll need:

How to get started:

  • Create a Robot to send you an email and push notifications when Ring is triggered or detects motion. For step by step instructions on setting up a Robot, check out our blog post here
  • Create another Robot for when your Dog Sitter’s user code is entered. 

3: SURPRISE AND WARD OFF Possible INTRUDERS

In the unlikely and unfortunate instance that someone enters your home that you don’t want there, automating a few sensors and smart lights might just surprise them into running away. 

GoControl’s security suite comes with door and window sensors you can affix anywhere, and monitor their status accordingly through the Wink app. The motion sensor identifies movement up to 50 feet away, while the loud siren and flashing light warns intruders if the alarm is tripped.  

Say you’re going on vacation for a few weeks. Within the Wink app, you can set up a Robot that triggers your smart light bulbs to automatically illuminate if the motion sensor detects movement or the front door sensor is triggered. Take it the extra mile by having the siren go off as well. You’ll get alerts automatically on your phone so you can jump into action and investigate.

What you’ll need:

How to get started:

  • Create a Robot for when a door opens, turn on the lights and trigger the siren. 
  • Create one Shortcut that enables the Robot and one that Disables the Robot. You can find step by step instructions for using Robots and Shortcuts together here
  • Create a Widget for each Shortcut. Instructions for creating a widget can be found on the bottom of the Shortcut blog post here

Spring Cleaning - Smart Home Style


Forget the lion or the lamb, spring is finally here! Now is the perfect time to update your home for the longer days and warmer nights ahead. While the actual spring cleaning may be a bore, adding new products, and taking care of smart products you already have shouldn’t be. Check out the list our team has compiled to start this season off on the right foot:

1. Add smart lights to outdoor fixtures. And while you’re at it, set up a Sunrise/Sunset Schedule in the Wink app. With the days getting longer, you don’t want to burn electricity while it’s still light out. Wink Schedules are a great (and easy) way to avoid that.

2. Switch thermostats to AC mode. As the weather warms, the need to turn on the heat diminishes. Before the temperature skyrockets. make sure your air conditioning is functioning properly, and your smart thermostats are changed to to proper cooling mode. Don’t forget to update your Shortcuts/Robots accordingly!

3: Activate outdoor water lines. If you have a yard, turn on any garden hoses and make sure your Rachio smart sprinkler system is up running. You can create watering zones within the Wink app to prepare the soil for early spring grass seeding, and monitor water usage right from your home.

4: Give your outdoor lighting a colorful refresh. Check out the OSRAM Gardenspot lights. They can be used to light up paths in the yard or even complement the color of what’s blooming in your flower boxes (if you have daffodils sprouting you can adjust them to a soft yellow).

5: Install door/window sensors. With the weather starting to warm up, you’re likely to be opening and shutting doors and windows around the house much more frequently. A few door and window sensors can give you peace of mind by sending an alert to your phone when abnormal activity is detected so you can either investigate, or ignore because you know your house guests are just airing out the downstairs.

6. And of course, break out the elbow grease and start cleaning. Dust light fixtures and fans, sanitize door knobs, wash wall switch plates. Even your automated blinds can use a tune up; most recommend light dusting but some can even be vacuumed. Check the manuals of all your smart products, and be sure to clean each one appropriately. 

Did we forget something? Let us know how you’re updating your home for spring in the comments!

How To: Use Wink with IFTTT

“If This Then That,” more commonly know as IFTTT, is a web service that connects all your favorite apps into one so they work better for you. “Recipes” are set up within IFTTT to trigger specific actions given a certain set of criteria. For example, you could create a Recipe that texts you the weather at the beginning of each day, or one that automatically saves every Instagram photo you post in a Dropbox folder. 

IFTTT also works wonders with the smart home. The Wink channel on IFTTT allows you to activate Wink Shortcuts through a variety of triggers, ranging from ESPN alerts to Google Calendar events. For example, using IFTTT, you can activate your smart home camera when your Google Calendar notifies you that it’s time to leave for vacation through a Wink Shortcut. 

Creating and utilizing the Wink channel within IFTTT is easy. Let’s follow along with the vacation example and start with how you sync with the IFTTT Wink channel:

Step 1: Download the IFTTT app and create an account (this can also be done via the web interface).

Step 2: Tap the “Recipe” button in the upper right corner. 

Step 3: Select the gear icon in the bottom right corner. 

Step 4: Select “Channels,” and you will see a menu with all of the compatible IFTTT channels. 

Step 5: Type in "Wink" and select “Wink Shortcuts.” 

Step 6: From this menu you can connect to the Wink Shortcuts channel within IFTTT. Once you press “Connect” you will be prompted to enter your Wink account email and password. When the connection is successful, the channel will display “Connected as ____”

Now let’s create the Recipe that triggers your Wink Shortcut to activate your smart home camera when the Google Calendar event "Vacation" starts. 

Step 1: Activate the Google Calendar channel within IFTTT.

Step 2: Select the gear icon in the bottom right corner.

Step 3: Tap the “Create a Recipe” button at the bottom of the screen.

Step 4: Select the “if +” sign and then tap the Google Calendar channel. You will want to select the event within your calendar that you want to have trigger the event. 

Step 5: Tap the “then +” sign and select the Wink Shortcuts channel. 

Step 6: Choose the “Vacation” Shortcut.

Step 7: Tap “Finish” and your Recipe is complete!

This is just one of many examples through which IFTTT + Wink Shortcuts can be used to further elevate what's possible in your smart home!

Wink-Enabled Nest Thermostats Now Work with Amazon Alexa

Wink + Amazon Echo users rejoice! Today we’re very excited to announce that you can now use Alexa to control your Nest Thermostat (or Thermostats) through Wink.

Last summer we unveiled our initial integration with Amazon that enables Alexa to control Wink-compatible lighting products, and were blown away by the response. We’ve been hard at work ever since adding additional functionalities (dimming) and now, a brand new product category in thermostats.

Connecting your Nest Thermostat with Echo is easy:

  1. If you haven’t already, first set up your Nest account and name each thermostat you have (living room, bedroom, kitchen, etc.).
  2. Next, connect your Nest account with your Wink app. Your Nest Thermostat will appear in the Wink app as “[location] + [name] + [the word ‘thermostat’]. "Home Living Room Thermostat,” for example.
  3. Then, link your Wink account to Echo within the Alexa mobile app (Settings > Connected Home > Device Links > Wink). 
  4. Finally, say “Alexa, discover devices.” This can take up to 20 seconds. Your Nest Thermostat will then appear in the Alexa app as [name] i.e. “Living Room” or “Bedroom.”  

From there, you can adjust the temperature day in and day out with an easy voice command.

If you know the specific temperature you’d like your home to be, simply say: “Alexa, set [name] to [XYZ] degrees.” An example would be: “Alexa, set upstairs to 70 degrees.”

You can also adjust the temperature incrementally by saying: “Alexa, [increase or decrease] [name] by [XYZ] degrees.” An example here would be: “Alexa, increase bedroom by 3 degrees.”

In order to conserve battery life on your Nest Thermostat, Nest limits the number of interactions per hour. After the limit is reached, Alexa will respond with "Sorry, the device [your thermostat name] is not responding."

We’ll soon be connecting Alexa with other Wink-compatible thermostats so stay tuned for more!

Introducing Wink’s First Compatible Water Sensor

Water damage is the second highest claim filed with insurance companies in the United States, according to the Insurance Information Institute. As anyone who has come home to leaking water can attest - whether it’s a puddle by the dishwasher or a rapidly expanding swimming pool in the basement - the experience isn’t an enjoyable one. 

With our latest app update, we hope to bring Wink users a little peace of mind in this department through our first ever water sensor integration with the leakSMART wireless and waterproof leak Sensor and leakSMART Valve.

Simply install and connect the leakSMART Valve to your home’s main water supply and then place the Sensors strategically throughout your home near appliances, plumbing fixtures, and pipe seams. Then, once both the Valve and Sensors are paired to the Wink HUB, a Robot can be enabled within the Wink app that will automatically shut off your home’s main water source if any of the sensors detect a leak. No matter where you are, you can breathe easy that your home is safe and sound.

In addition, you can set up alerts within the Wink app so you are notified when your leakSMART Valve is opened, closed, offline, or running low on batteries. Along with leak detection, the leakSMART Sensors can detect room temperature - especially useful for second home owners who want to check their home’s temperature remotely, adjust the thermostat settings, or remotely shut off the home’s water if it gets cold enough to freeze pipes. 

We’re always looking to bring new product categories onto the Wink platform that provide value to users and enable a more complete smart home ecosystem. With leakSMART + Wink you can say goodbye to your water worries!

Local Control Now Available for Wink-Compatible Lighting Products

UPDATE 6/15/16: We’ve been working hard to expand local control to additional product categories and with our latest HUB update, are thrilled to announce all Wink-compatible locks can now be controlled locally. As with lighting, this makes your locks not only more reliable, but faster than ever while maintaining the same high level of security you expect from Wink. 

When you turn a product on or off within the Wink app you want it to happen immediately. Understandable. It’s something our engineering team works hard at to make possible everyday. 

Today we’re excited to announce a new feature for all Wink users that takes those efforts to the next level - local control of your Wink-compatible, HUB-required light bulbs and switches.

This makes control of your lights in the Wink app MUCH faster and more reliable. Local control of Wink lighting products reduces latency by at least 50% to less than half a second. It also enables you to control your lights if the Internet goes down while you’re home. 

Here’s why:

Typically, when you control a product through the Wink app, your phone sends a signal to your Internet router, which then communicates with our server in the cloud, which then comes back through your router to the Wink HUB, and then finally to that product.

Local control removes the cloud layer from the equation, so that your phone can talk directly to the Wink HUB on your home network.

No need to opt-in, local control for your lights will just happen automatically so long as your phone is connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network. Simply update your Wink HUB with the latest version and you’re good to go.

Our local lighting control was designed with an emphasis on security and data integrity. For example, your activity feed will remain current and accurate even if you are controlling lights locally. We've built a strong foundation for local features within the Wink HUB and can’t wait to extend it to additional product categories and in-app functions.

Stay tuned!

How To: Use Robots and Shortcuts Together

In previous posts, we explained what Shortcuts and Robots within the Wink app are and how to set them up. What you may not know is you can actually link Shortcuts and Robots together for even greater control over your smart home.

Let’s go back to the "Leaving Home" Robot example we created in our How To: Create a Wink Robot post. For reference, this Robot turns all the lights off and locks the front door once you leave the house. It’s a fantastic setup, but what happens if your significant other, child, or roommate remains at home after you’ve left?

This is where creating a Shortcut that can enable or disable a Robot comes in really handy. Here’s how to implement this in the Wink app:

Step 1: From the home page of the Wink app, select ‘Shortcuts’ on the bottom of the screen (top of the screen for Android users).

Step 2: Tap the ‘New Shortcut’ icon and name your Shortcut "Company Here."

Step 3: Select ‘Make this happen’ and scroll to the bottom of the screen where you will see a complete list of your active Robots. 

Step 4: Select "Leaving Home" and set it to ‘Disable.’ 

This will stop the Robot from turning the lights off and locking the front door if there’s still someone at home when you leave. You’ll also want to create a second Shortcut to enable the Robot once whoever else is home leaves. Just follow the same process as above, and make sure you select ‘Enable’ instead of ‘Disable’ when you get to Step 4.

There are a ton of ways you can use Shortcuts and Robots together to make your smart home even more robust. In a future post, we’ll explain how these in-app features can be used to create your very own DIY security system.

How To: Create a Wink Robot

Wink Robots are a simple way to automate your home to run on its own. With a few taps in the Wink app, you can program your products to work together automatically based on triggers, such as location or activity.

USING LOCATION TO TRIGGER ROBOTS:

Let's say you want your lights to automatically turn off when you leave the home:

  • Step 1: From the home page of the Wink app, select "Robots" at the bottom of the screen.
  • Step 2: Tap the "New Robot" button. Then, name your Robot (let’s call this one “Leaving Home”) and choose the desired trigger for the Robot. In this case, the trigger will be you leaving your home.
  • Step 3: Under "If this Robot detects" select "Something" and then "My location." You now have the option to choose if the Robot will trigger upon arrival or departure from the location of your choosing. For this example you would select departure.
  • Step 4: Under "Then:" press "Make this / something happen." Similar to when you set up Shortcuts, you will see a complete list of the products you’re using with Wink. Select the products you are interested in having the Robot trigger and choose their desired state. Here, you would select “All Lights” and set their state to “Off."
  • Step 5: The "For longer than" option is an additional feature that is not required when creating a Robot but can be very useful. If you want your lights to turn off, but only if you’ve left home for 15 minutes or more, select "For longer than" and your desired timeframe. 

USING PRODUCT ACTIVITY TO TRIGGER ROBOTS:

In addition to location, you can also use your products to trigger Wink Robots. Following the example above, say you'd rather the lights automatically turn on once your front door is unlocked:

  • Step 1: Go into your "Leaving Home" Robot in the Wink app.
  • Step 2: Under "If this Robot detects:" select "Something," then "Front Door," and change the settings to "Unlock."
  • Step 3: Click "Make this happen" and select all lights to the "On" state. 

Get notified when a Robot is triggered:

We all want to know what is going on in our homes, especially when something out of the ordinary occurs. You now have the option to receive a notification when a Robot is triggered. To do so, simply go into the "Make this happen" button within Robots and choose "Send a Notification" or "Send an Email" so you're always in the loop.

Wink Robots may not retrieve your mail or pour your coffee in the morning, but they can make some of life’s little inconveniences a bit more manageable. 

How To: Create a Wink Shortcut

Shortcuts are a great way to easily access and control a group of Wink-compatible devices. They can make a lot of things happen within your smart home instantaneously with a single tap in the Wink app. If you’re not familiar with Shortcuts, here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can set one up.

Say you’re about to fall asleep and want to make sure the living room lights are turned off without having to leave your bed. Here’s how to avoid the trip downstairs by creating a Shortcut:

  • Step 1: For iOS users, select "Shortcuts" at the bottom of the home screen within the Wink app (top of the screen for Android users).
  • Step 2: Tap the "New Shortcut" button.
  • Step 3: Then, name your Shortcut (let’s call this one "Good Night") and choose the desired action such as turning off the living room lights. To change the icon, tap the "Choose Icon" button at the top and select a relevant image. 
  • Step 4: Click "Make this Happen." You will then see a complete list of the products you’re using with Wink. Select the products you are interested in adding to the Shortcut and choose their desired state. For this example, select "All Lights" and set their state to "Off."
  • Step 5: You’re all set! Just don’t forget to save your Shortcut by selecting "Done."

Adding additional products to existing Shortcuts:

If you want to add other products to your "Goodnight" Shortcut down the line, you can do so in a pinch. Say that in addition to your lights going off, you want to make sure your front door is locked and bedroom thermostat lowers:

  • Step 1: Select the "Shortcuts" menu on the home screen of your Wink app.
  • Step 2: Press and hold down on your "Good Night" Shortcut to add products to it.  
  • Step 3: Select "Edit Good Night."
  • Step 4: Select "Make this Happen" and add both your front door and bedroom thermostat, selecting the desired outcomes for each product. 

Access your Shortcuts even quicker with Widgets:

Widgets allow for almost immediate access to your Shortcuts. Android users have the Widget Bar, which can hold up to five different Shortcuts in one menu. You also have the ability to place a single Shortcut on any page of your device in the form of a Widget. 

iOS users have a Wink Shortcuts Widget where you can scroll through any active shortcut. This is located in your notification window and can be accessed even if your mobile device is locked. 

Creating a Shortcut is easy, fast, and with a wide variety of Wink-enabled products at your fingertips, the possibilities for home automation are endless. 

Wink Integrates With ADT Canopy - New Security-As-A-Service


Security has always been a top priority at Wink. We strive to make our platform the safest and most reliable out there while giving users meaningful ways to monitor, control, and automate their home.

We’re excited to tell you a bit more about how we’re expanding that commitment.

Today at CES ADT - a leading provider of security and automation solutions - unveiled ADT Canopy, a new security-as-a-service that extends its best-in-class 24/7 professional monitoring services to wearables, life safety products, and the smart home.

As part of our ongoing mission to provide best-in-class smart home security, Wink is one of the first to be compatible with ADT Canopy. 
 
Wink users will find the solution integrated directly within the Wink app and can subscribe on a month-to-month basis, with no-term contracts and service options. From there, you can easily access ADT Canopy to manage your home security or connect to live help. 

ADT Canopy also has your back when you’re away. Say you’re on vacation somewhere remote, you can subscribe to ADT Canopy for the month you're away and stay completely covered. If your Wink-compatible door and window sensors or smoke/CO alarms detect abnormal activity, ADT Canopy will immediately spring into action. 

ADT Canopy + Wink gives consumers another window into their smart home through an on-demand security monitoring system from the most trusted name in the market.

For more information, check out the ADT press release here!

Ford to Explore Bringing Wink Into its Vehicles

Hello from Las Vegas! We’re joining 170,000 of our closest friends this week at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), a showcase for the latest and greatest in consumer technology, wearables, and of course, the smart home. 

The team is there in full force, meeting with partners, watching keynote addresses, exploring the exhibition halls, and checking out the latest and greatest product debuts.

Speaking of news, we wanted to share a pretty cool announcement with you.

Earlier this morning, Ford announced their intent to bring the smart home into the smart car through SYNC integration with Wink and other leading smart home companies. 

If you’re not familiar, SYNC is Ford’s integrated in-vehicle communications and entertainment system that allows drivers to make phone calls, control music, and perform other functions through voice commands. 

Wink will be made compatible with SYNC AppLink-enabled dashboards within select Ford models to enable drivers to easily control and automate their smart home on the road. 

For example, a driver nearing their house after work could have the option to either press a button on the dashboard or say a command that opens their garage door, turns on the lights, and unlocks the front door, all through Wink. 

We continue to broaden the Wink experience so you can use your smart home in more immersive, meaningful ways. Seamlessly connecting the car with the physical house expands what’s possible with the smart home, and we’re very excited about that.

Keep an eye out on our blog for more information on timing! 

In the meantime, you can stay up to speed on CES news throughout the week by following @TheWinkApp on Twitter and #CES2016.