EEVblog Electronics Community Forum

Computing => Cloud Computing + IoT => Topic started by: Bassman59 on May 06, 2020, 08:17:15 pm

Title: Wink goes to paid subscription only
Post by: Bassman59 on May 06, 2020, 08:17:15 pm (


This is the first step towards shutting down, because how many users are going to buy into the subscription plan?

They're bricking the devices of people who don't subscribe.

Another fail in the space -- cloud access required, no direct connection from a user's smartphone to their products, and only smartphones are supported.

It's time for the whole IoT thing to be re-evaluated. About the only platform that doesn't suck is Ikea's "Tradfri," which does not require off-home access.
Title: Re: Wink goes to paid subscription only
Post by: kripton2035 on May 06, 2020, 08:24:23 pm
only editors that have a complete exclusivity on a market with almost no competition can go to a subscription plan.
Adobe, Microsoft, ...
this one has a ton of competitors. good luck !
Title: Re: Wink goes to paid subscription only
Post by: WattsThat on May 06, 2020, 08:41:50 pm
It’s only a matter of time until the vulture lawyers show up with class action suites over denial of access and then you can really stick a fork in all the home device IOT vendors.

Seriously, who needs a web enabled refrigerator to maintain a shopping list? The combination of lazy and and stupid does not bode well for future generations.
Title: Re: Wink goes to paid subscription only
Post by: rgarito on May 07, 2020, 05:50:15 pm
Gonna be REAL interesting...

I have a Hub 1 and I hacked it years ago.  I wrote in my own API because theirs was non-existent.  Then last year I allowed it to update (some) of it's code so I could use their new local API.  Even with that API, I had to hack it because some devices I have were not properly supported (ceiling fans). 

I am NOT a fan of cloud-based home automation at all, for this very reason.  I want TOTAL CONTROL of my devices, and being I'm a software developer and electrical engineer, I'm pretty picky about that.  Almost all of my home automation gear I use is not cloud-based.  (my thermostat sort-of is [it's a Venstar] but they have a totally local API I use except for one tiny part which I send messages to their cloud app for; never got around to tracing how they send that particular thing to the thermostat and it's not documented)

For my control system, I do NOT use their crappy Wink app.  Instead, I use a Crestron system, which I built from used parts on eBay.  Crestron stuff goes cheap because you have to pay an "expert" to program them.  Well, I taught myself how to program it several years ago (got the software off of hacker sites).  At one point I considered paying Crestron to be an "official" programmer (you have to take some classes they offer), as I was looking for work and people can charge a LOT to program those things...  But I never got around to it.  It's a bit of a pain to program, but I have a pretty complex setup (and adding more things all the time).  Getting more Crestron hardware is very cheap.  And I wrote a few Crestron modules to interface to the things I needed in Wink.

Gonna be interesting to see if they can brick my hub and code modifications next week.  I have it pretty well jailbroken from them, but I may place a firewall rule or two in place to ensure it can't speak to the internet, just in case. 

I was getting a bit frustrated with Wink anyways, because their ZWave and Zigbee radios sometimes delays responding, etc.  At times, when I issue a command it can take 10+ seconds for the lights/fans/etc to respond.  And their bluetooth support is not stable (I've had it crash the hub, to the point that I decommissioned the BT lights I was using). 

So I was already considering replacing the Wink, possibly with a Raspberry Pi solution plus a few radios and possibly some custom API code (I've been researching options).  Someone replied to my conversation with Dave on Twitter regarding the Wink mess and pointed me to the old IRIS hubs...  Apparently they closed up, but made it all open source on github.  Their earlier hub was based on the BeagleBone Black, which I have quite a bit of experience with (designed a marine control/monitoring system for my boat with one).  I ordered one of those on eBay for $10.  I'll have to also get a Lutron radio (the pro version has an API) as well, for some of my in-wall dimmers.  So, I Wink's decision may just speed up the urgency of my project....  Sigh...
Title: Re: Wink goes to paid subscription only
Post by: rgarito on May 22, 2020, 09:00:09 pm
Lol that went so well....

"The support we've seen for our subscription service has been incredible. We feel we can extend Wink's free service for the time being, confident that we can set a new start date for the subscription service soon, giving you all more time to use Wink whether you signed up or not."

Guess they had a meeting with their lawyers?