A cautionary tale for any IoT ecosystem (Wink subscription)

Actually the Link light bulbs works with smart things!
To add it you just click on GE brand then pick the light switch, it will recognize the lightbulb it will even allow you to dim it.

I was close to getting a WINK enabled product. I read this and stopped that purchase immediately.

Won’t this eventually happen to Wyze? There’s a cost to having thousands of video clips uploading to their servers all day. In fact, I’ve been wondering if there was a way to schedule a video upload quiet time the way I do with notifications. I figured that would reduce the uploads and save some electricity for Wyze. I don’t think they can pay for that service on product sales alone.

So WINK is out. Alexa and Google are a privacy breach. What is Wyze friendly system that lets me use other products not offered by Wyze?

You’re talking about three different companies here. Wink was spun off from Quirky. GE made bulbs in a partnership with Quirky. Also GE Link lights are all white bulbs; there’s no color GE Link bulbs so I think you may be confusing them with something else.

Regarding the bulbs, I bought 6 of them and all six have worked great for me - with two of the standard size outside and one par floodlight in the garage. They’ve been in place for over 6-7 years and were moved from the Wink hub to a Conbee II Zigbee stick under HomeAssistant in November 2019. Still working reliably, too.

There’s a number of choices depending on your level of comfort. There’s SmartThings, though they are also cloud based and if you want a local controlled hub, there is Hubitat (which is the closest thing to Wink). If you’d prefer no hubs and total local control with a emphasis on privacy, there’s HomeAssistant.

Yes - the parallels here are uncanny.

In a different thread, many months ago - I suggested that Wyze users should be awaiting future cloud services (eg CMC) that will require a subscription, and was rebuffed by those stating that selling hardware is Wyze’ business model.

Problem is, in today’s world, that single hardware cost (read: revenue) will never pay for the associated server storage, etc… over the life of the device.

What has this far differentiated Wyze from Wink is they are offering the “up sell” services at cost.

It’s pretty clear that we should continue to expect additional “for-fee” add-on services from Wyze - as it should be. Of course, if this fails to generate on-going revenue, they could see themselves in a similar fate as Wink - threatening time brick devices unless users pay simply for their use.

Ditto. I’m on Smartthings/zwave/wifi.

I transitioned 5 bulbs, a garage door, wall sensors, etc to Smartthing by Samsung. It wasn’t hard at all. In fact, adding them to the new hub (which came with my NVidia Shield) was easier than adding them to my Wink hub which hadn’t worked reliably forever.

As the old saying, sort of, goes; “The world, she be a’ changing.” And I think we are in the early to middle stages of another sea change in the tech industry as a whole. More and more things are being marketed as a “service” wether it makes sense or not. (Wether spelled this way looks wrong?!?)

I suspect there will be some pushback from the market as more people realize they are bleeding money in “death by a thousand cuts” fashion. Especially as the economy has been so thoroughly trashed.

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Thanks! I knew it was wrong but my brain was, er, passing gas. It annoyed me greatly I appreciate the help. :relaxed:

mailmeoffers said “Problem is, in today’s world, that single hardware cost (read: revenue) will never pay for the associated server storage, etc… over the life of the device.”

So, what is the cost of providing a service? I am sure storing video is a much more expensive service, than turning on a light bulb. But, even in the case of video, services like Youtube and Vimeo, and several others have been doing this for free to the consumer, and they earn their keep with a little advertising. And even if Wink does not want outside advertisers, they surely can advertise their own hardware.

The $5/month from Wink seems to be quite an excessive amount to charge for everything, except if their servers have to do a lot of video or voice processing. I wonder if the charge is not so much for the service, but rather for bailing the company out of a hole. Though, I think the act itself, rather than generating revenue, is going to be its suicide.


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Bricking would be a bad idea. In fact, that sounds like a class action lawsuit. The devices aren’t rentals so making them not work at all is like a car dealer selling cars that turn into lemons after the loan is paid off. I’m surprised WINK would do something like that and/or get away with it.

Honestly having difficulty understanding your point - are you in support of, or refuting my quoted comment?

To be clear of my points:

  1. What Wink is doing is shady, and they will suffer the PR consequences. It may even result in a failed business model.

  2. Wyze has in now way done anything similar to that of Wink. I have faith that they will not.

  3. The back-end infrastructure is way more than storing video. The servers are needed to even remote connect in the first place, process notifications, etc… In no conceivable way does a single $20 payment cover all of the infrastructure, let alone personnel costs that device will require over a multi-year lifetime.

Perhaps I used “bricking” there inappropriately.

Will the hardware power on and boot without buying into Winks new fee structure - yes.

Can it be functionally used to do anything - well, as I understand it, NO.

Ditto. Sounds like they’re running out of money and trying to save it. Not a huge sum, but I wouldn’t pay for it.

Bricking devices happens fairly often. And the TOS agreements you blindly agree to (You meaning the greater public you.) allow most vendors to do so. Even if they did not use that method they use the simple expedient of going bankrupt, turning their servers off. The core business group re-emerges as a new company and away you go.

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An earnest, “Hey brother, can ya help a corporation-disrupting-the-space-for-the-good-of-the-people out?” plea might be an option. A donate button?

I know I’m a soft touch for a good story. You?

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Wink hub investment was a poor choice. I would rather have my devices stop working than be held hostage for a subscription. MyQ garage remote is another one. I hope these companies fail miserably.

Actually, at the time it was introduced and for several years afterwards, Wink hub investment was a great choice. It was the only hub that integrated multiple protocols into one system. The app was clean and very user friendly in terms of the UI. Customer support was stellar–several times I had to call and speak to someone for assistance.

Unfortunately, several things happened: GE’s Quirky (the originator of Wink) went quirky and Wink was spun-off; Wink struggled on their own; Wink was eventually acquired by a private owner who had no clue what to do with it.

Also, I think they were a victim of their own success. They created a fantastic piece of hardware that worked great, was robust, and basically lasted a long time. Since they were based on hardware sales, offering the associated services “free” as part of that purchase, once the hardware was installed in the majority of users that would use it there was no growth. Things languished…and now we’re where we are because they need money to stay in operation. So they’re switching their business model.

I’ve had a Wink system running for years. It was my entry into the “smart home” and has worked great. My objection is that this change of business model is that the new additional subscription does not offer me anything other than continued use of the hardware I paid for and with short notice. If they had offered a clear vision of that this subscription would result in, other than keeping the lights on, then I might be more agreeable. They did not do this however.

Just my NSHO.


I have MyQ for my garage door. What subscription service do they have?