Get ready to start building the smart home of your dreams. Home Depot and Wink announced today (July 7) a series of Wink-enabled connected appliances, such as light bulbs, window shades and water heaters. The products are available for sale at the retailer's 2,000 U.S. stores.
The Wink-enabled products are operated through either the Wink app, which is available for free on Android and iOS, or the Wink hub. With the app, you can control gadgets such as your air conditioner, blinds, door locks and garage door.
Home Depot has close to 60 products available right now that work with the Wink platform, including appliances from Chamberlain, Dropcam, GE, Honeywell, Philips and Kwikset. That's less than half the 150 devices Staples announced last week would work with its new connected-home hub, but it's a start.
A spinoff of tech incubator Quirky, Wink was created as a platform to connect Quirky devices to each other through the Internet. Wink-enabled devices fall into one of two categories: those that can be controlled directly through the Wink app, and those that must first connect to the Wink Hub. The Wink Hub is available for $49 at Home Depot, but the retailer will discount the price to 99 cents with the purchase of two connected-home devices, such as Phillips Hue LED bulbs or the DropCam Pro camera.
What remains to be seen is how well Wink will integrate with Apple's and Google's devices. The two tech giants have recently invested heavily in the smart home field, with Google acquiring Nest labs and Apple announcing its HomeKit automation suite. However, Wink is compatible with Android Wear, a first step toward seamlessly integrating smart home devices into consumers' everyday lives.
Regardless, the widespread adoption of smart home devices will depend on Home Depot and other nontraditional electronics retailers being able to convince consumers of the ease of use, benefits, and security of connecting all their appliances to their smart phones.