What happens if the Wink Platform goes out of business?
The Verge recently reported that the company that owns the Wink Smart Home platform is running out of money. The company i.am+ owned by Will.i.am has been apparently struggling to make payroll. According to the article, workers had not been paid for several weeks.
For owners of the Wink Hub which has a reliance on the cloud for updates, scheduling and some other features, this does not look good. If the company would shut its doors and turn off the server infrastructure, what would happen to all of the millions of devices connected to it?
Thankfully, Wink has had a local control feature for a while now. In 2016, it implemented local control of lights and switches as a response to outages the company had experienced in the past. Local control would allow users to still turn on/off devices if the main cloud based servers went down. This would presumably be the scenario if Wink shut down the servers for good. Unfortunately though, if the company does go under, there will no longer be firmware updates to address security or stability of the hubs. New features would also cease to exist and I would image third party integrations would break or begin to break due to neglect and an inability to update code remotely.
I would hope that another company like an Amazon might come along and scoop them up but with most of the major companies already established in the smart hub market, I’m not sure there would be a benefit.
I currently use my Wink hub for a few sensors around the house (interior doors and closets) and use it as my primary zwave hub but will be transitioning away from it. For the sensors, I think I am going to try to better use my Wyze based Sense sensors. They are so inexpensive and can be hacked to work with Home Assistant. I have already begun transitioning from ZWave to WIFI bulbs and outlets so that process will continue. Eventually, I will be able to decommission the Wink hub from my Smart Home.
Comment in the video section below on what your plan is for the seemingly eventual demise of Wink.
As of May 13th 2020, Wink has demanded a $5 a month subscription fee from all existing users. Read more here.