Back in September, Wink announced the addition of Relay to their ever growing lineup of home automation products. The Relay is a wall mounted touch screen device that connects to your Wink home automation system and is powered by an Android variant. It features Wifi, Zigbee, and Bluetooth communication protocols, but missing are the Z-Wave and Lutron ClearConnect capabilities included in the original Wink Hub. For $300, you might reasonably expect that that the Relay could replace the Wink Hub. Alas, not.
Installation of Wink Relay was for the most part flawless. Having swapped out a previous light switch with both a Wemo and Lutron switch, it was fairly simple to line up the correct wires with the Relay. The Relay can install on both a single or dual switch and the box includes adapters for proper fit in either scenario. After installation and setup of the Relay, and my previous experience with the Wink hub, my thoughts remain the same to what was conveyed in our Battle of the Hubs post. The Wink/Quirky vision is simplicity and their products and software reflect this. Yet, the problem remains in the implementation. There are still too many times when the system is just not responsive and even fails to react to existing “robots’ setup. When you factor in locks and smoke alarms, I don’t trust the Wink system to react when I need it to.
Hopefully, with the backing of GE, Quirky and Wink can resolve these issues. Yet, given the pace they are releasing new products without addressing open items, my confidence level is not high.