Wink Hub Connects to SmartThings

As home automation grows more and more popular by the day, the free market is taking notice and working to supply the demand. The Wink Hub is a part of this current trend. It’s a device that allows many of your wireless devices to talk to one another. Things like lights, thermostats, door locks, garage doors…and many other devices can all connect to the hub. Typically, you use a program on your phone or tablet to control these devices. But because this is a closed source gadget, it can’t connect to everything, until now. A hacker was not only able to root the device, but he also gained the ability to connect to devices it was never designed to connect to.

[Michael] was able to get root and take control of some of the devices used with one of Wink’s main competitors – SmartThings. The process is not for the faint of heart and requires at least a yellow belt in Linux-Fu. [Michael] points out that you should use a Wink Hub that you don’t care about as the possibility of bricking it is there if something goes wrong.

We’ve seen a few instances of rooting the Wink and are happy to see these hacks maturing. It’s a shame the thing is locked down since the multiple radios make the hardware capable of being a great cross-platform hub. For legacy and better user experience, cross-platform operation is paramount. The industry isn’t moving in that direction… Phillips recently removed support for devices outside the Hue family. But the community wants this functionality and their push back led to a hasty reversal of Phillips’ changes. Hackers like [Michael] are showing what your home could be like if connected devices were free to interact with one another.

5 thoughts on “Wink Hub Connects to SmartThings

  1. I did some work with a wink hub a few months back. It’s a great idea, but it needs a lot of polish. It should not be on the market yet for consumers. The andriod app doesn’t work, The uplink to the cloud fails. I had problems hooking up zigbee devices. Eventually ended up returning it. With root, it might be a neat piece of hardware, but as a consumer product, it’s crap.

    1. Yeah, that’s the thing about Wink. It works well for me and has steadily worked better (started in September 2015), for others it has been a flop like your experience. Prior to about September, I get the feeling that it was not even close to stable. I had some issues with the android app and the “robots” functionality (ie, time-of-day stuff didn’t function at all), while Wink support was very responsive, it took another release of the app to get that working. So weird, not sure what their testing procedures look like prior to release.

  2. You can already access a number of Wink devices through it’s API. I am using a plugin for Vera that leverages this and gives me access to Wink devices in Vera. Also the Android app does work, I have been using it for a while. Wink does have issues and is pretty simplistic in many areas, but using it allows me to extend my Vera system to use Lutron lighting switches for example.

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