There is truly no doubt that home automation is on the rise. More and more consumers have begun installing automation products within their home and many more plan on doing so in the near future. One would think that this would deliver a massive boost to companies selling these specific products, but this might not be the case. Quirky, which is responsible for the Wink Home Hub, has been battling debt troubles as of recent. Could the company become one of the first casualties of the home automation market? You’ll be able to explore the possibility below.
Quirky was founded in 2009. Shortly after the company’s inception, the New York based company quickly gained attention from investors and consumers alike. In September of 2012, the company was able to accumulate $68 million dollars in funding. The future could’ve have been brighter! In February of 2013, the company managed to secure a spot amongst Forbes’ list of Most Promising Companies in America. On the outside, the company looked poised to become an overwhelming success. Of course, behind the scenes, things weren’t going so well for the technology company, which was quickly becoming popular for their remote control home lighting systems.
Quirky isn’t actually a products manufacturer or developer. Instead, the company is responsible for connecting investors and inventors. They’ve worked with an array of different companies, including GE, Harman, Pepsi Co. and Mattel. The company was even featured in a reality television series, which aired on the Sundance Channel. The Wink was undoubtedly one of their biggest success stories and probably one of their last. So, they’re not the minds behind the remote control home lighting systems. Instead, they’re pseudo investors.
If you are unfamiliar with home automation devices and remote control home lighting systems, it is time to get educated. These devices are soaring in popularity and it is obvious that they are going to continue to roll out of the market monthly. The Wink home automation hub was several years ago and once was a very promising company. It appears that many of the consumers that invested in this device have varying options about it. Many of them do not think that the Wink hub is ready for prime time, while others complained about minor glitches.
Once you download the Wink app on your mobile device, connect your home automation devices to Wink, you will be able to control and manage them all simultaneously. You will be able to control fully monitor, manage, and control all of your devices simultaneously, using the one Wink remote control home lighting systems app. This is definitely a fantastic benefit, since opening up each associated app enabled device, just to make a few minor alterations, can be a timely process.
Unlike, many home automation gateways, Wink does not require users to subscribe to pay a monthly fee for Cloud services. This service is absolutely free and allows users to control their home automated devices via their app enabled device. Of course, you do need an existing Internet router, in order to make this possible.
It is very important to take precautions in where you place the Wink hub. It must be located 3’ away from your existing Wi-Fi router. The wireless range is around 30’, but this can be altered slightly by metal, tile, stone, and mirror surfaces. Thick walls can also decrease the range, which is why it is so important to place the Wink in a central location to minimize the distance between it and your home automated devices.
In last 2015, Quirky was forced to acknowledge their failures. During this time, the company followed in suit of many companies before it and filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. During the proceedings, it was discovered that the company was drowning in debt ranging from $50 to $100 million dollars. According to documents, they maintained approximately $10 to $50 million if assets. Sadly, the developers behind the company’s most profitable product, the Wink Hub, were stilled owed a great deal of money.
In fact, Quirky returned to Flextronics in hopes of digging themselves out of trouble. Flextronics agreed to repurchase the Wink Automation Hub for $15 billion dollars. Surprisingly, Flextronics was the manufacturer originally responsible for the device. Quirky has been attempting to sell their Wink lineup since March of 2015 without any success. Originally, they had hoped to acquire $30 million or more from the sale.
Of course, that fantasy never came to fruition and the company was eventually forced to hand over the Wink to Flex for $15 million. The maneuver could bring new life to the Wink and Flextronics, while giving Quirky a little helping hand out of the mess they’ve created.
Although the future is beginning to dim for Quirky, consumers shouldn’t shut their eyes on the Wink just yet. In fact, experts within the technology field wholeheartedly believe that Flextronics could very well help the Wink establish dominance over the market. Flex is much more profitable than Quirky, so consumers can expect to see the Wink hanging around for quite some time. Of course, Flex will change up the game by focusing on businesses, while ignoring consumers to some degree. It is expected that Flextronics will work closely with other companies, in order to encourage them to integrate their products into the Wink’s system.
Although nothing has been announced, the product’s inventor, Nathan Smith, admits that the hub itself could become nonexistent in the coming years. The company’s original plan was to steer clear of the hub business and instead focus on integration with other devices. What does it mean? Although the hub might disappear, its software and the underlying platform could be embedded into other products. Whether or not this will prove to be fruitful remains to be seen. However, more and more competitors have emerged, so Wink has a lot of adversity ahead. Whether or not their remote control home lighting systems will be able to survive remains to be seen.
With the progressive growth of the home automation market and the immense success of companies like Frontpoint Security and Protect America, it is highly likely that more and more companies will begin developing and selling these products. Will Flex be able to transform the Wink Hub into something more? Will it truly be able to compete with the likes of ZigBee and Z-Wave? Now that Wink is back in the hands of Flextronics, the potential for success is there. The Wink Hub and Relay are still available at major retailers, but in the future, these devices may become a part of something bigger and the need for the hub may no longer be a necessity.