The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) announced Monday, July 7th, that it was launching a new smart home initiative with Wink, including a line of Wink-enabled Internet-connected devices, such as light bulbs, window shades and water heaters. The new smart home products are available at most of Home Depot’s 2,000 U.S. stores.
Wink-enabled products can be controlled using either the Wink app, which can be downloaded for free on Android and iOS, or through the Wink hub. The app allows you to control devices such as your air conditioner, blinds, door locks and garage door remotely through your smart phone.
Statement from Home Depot
“We think the Wink platform will make (smart products) more appealing,” Jeff Epstein, the The Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD) vice president for home automation merchandising, said, also pointing out the open access software makes it possible for devices to communicate with each other. So smart home owners can program smart light bulbs to turn off once the window shades have opened.
When asked about other smart home ecosystems besides Wink, Epstein replied, “Our goal is to integrate all these platforms.”
Wink-enabled products at Home Depot
Home Depot has close to 60 products available right now that work with the Wink platform (out of 600 total smart home products), including appliances from Chamberlain, Dropcam, GE, Honeywell, Bali, Leviton, Lutron, Rachio, Rheem, Philips, Kwikset and Schlage. Staples launched its new connected-home hub last week with 600 smart home products.
Background on Wink
Wink was put together as a platform to connect tech incubator Quirky-developed devices to each other through the Internet. Some Wink-enabled devices can be controlled using the Wink app, but others must first connect to the Wink Hub.
You can purchase the Wink Hub for $49 at Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE:HD), but the price comes down to $25 with the purchase of one connected device, or just 99 cents with the purchase of any two smart home devices, such as a garage door opener, Hue LED bulbs or a DropCam Pro camera.
The big question remaining to be answered at this point is how well Wink will integrate with Apple’s and Google’s smart home devices. Both firms invested heavily in the smart home field over the last year or two, with Google snapping up Nest labs and Apple highlighting its new HomeKit automation suite. Wink is compatible with Android Wear, which is an important first step in integrating smart home devices into our day-today life.