Home Depot enters the smart home era with Wink partnership

We’ve all dropped in to Home Depot to pick up something for a DIY project at some point. But with the release of a new line of mobile app-enabled products, you might start thinking of it as the Smart Home Depot.

The retailer is partnering with Wink to provide one mobile app that can control all the smart devices that you buy here. That way consumers won’t suffer from app fatigue, installing one app to control your thermostat, another for your coffee maker, another for your rooftop hot tub, and so on.

From a consumer perspective, the cost is as invisible as the wireless network that connects your appliances. The one thing you will have to buy is the Wink Hub to bring it all together.

“With the Wink Hub, we’ve got all the technologies built and baked inside. So it doesn’t matter what you buy, whether it’s Z-Wave, or zigby, or WiFi, or Bluetooth, you don’t need to know as a consumer what the product is, you just take it home and it’s going to work automatically,” says Ron Cleary, senior electrical merchant, Home Depot Canada.

Home Depot is betting that with people so connect to their mobile devices today, they will want to connect to their homes through their devices. Not only can you control your appliances, but you can set up automated sequences with a “Robots” feature. Want soothing classical music to great you when you get home? Have your stereo turn on as soon as you unlock the front door.

Home Depot’s partner in this, Wink, is a spin off company from Quirky. It’s also partnered with GE to control its line of connected products.

“The time is now because you can get things at the right price point. More people have cell phone penetration so that’s a big part of it, and there’s more great vendors out there offering solutions. So bringing these products together and having them interoperate together through the hub, it’s a really great time to bring them together,” says Garret van der Boom, director of business development at Wink.

The idea is that you don’t have to undertake a major renovation project to turn your humble adobe into a futuristic techno-palace. You just upgrade to a connected home by buying one compatible product at a time, connecting it all through your home network and controlling it from the Wink app. That also means Wink has a growing list of connected products. You’ll see them hit Home Depot shelves in the weeks ahead.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Brian Jackson
Brian Jacksonhttp://www.itbusiness.ca
Editorial director of IT World Canada. Covering technology as it applies to business users. Multiple COPA award winner and now judge. Paddles a canoe as much as possible.

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