Smart home business model: giant cracks in a Wink

for decades, the existence of intelligent household has always been a pipe dream. Although there are a lot of smart home, the market competition relationship between them means that they can’t communicate, of course, also not familiar with your lifestyle. User needs at least 6 different to manage all of the application of intelligent equipment, the process all the convenient butler “future”. Until January 2014, we still can’t get rid of the embarrassed situation of smart home.

however, in recent months, a shining star. It is like a dark horse to stand out and solve these problems, and makes the intelligent household mainstream reality. Wink is in New York in June 2014, a small startup, it promises to break the competitive relationship between intelligent household, via wi-fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee and Z – wave connect household intelligent device, and the service of booking price only $79. Although there have been a lot of companies have done similar before, but the different is that Wink has cooperation with many famous companies, this is it from an unknown novice into the American market one of the most explosive potential root cause.

such as Honeywell, Philips, Chamberlain, Schlage, GE and so on the company began to produce and Wink compatible products. The company opened a total of 15 major manufacturers and developed more than 100 products, they all performed very well in Wink the single platform. At the same time, such as Home Depot and Amazon business giants are also selling Wink brand products. Especially the Home Depot, it is making some such as to inform the customer what devices can be connected and how to use a Wink to control the detailed investigation of these devices, and then will result in the store display, at the same time also in more than 2000 district training sales assistant to push commodity flow.

industry dynamic tracking organization NPD Group analyst Ben Arnold Wink, said: “a Wink in this field is a potential real black horse, it is likely to be dominant in the future.” NPD survey found that 48% of customers are interested in smart home, most of them choose in home decoration store or hardware store to buy. “Wink now sales are being addressed one of the biggest challenges, propaganda and education on the market. Along with the appropriate retail, it will have the advantage of a walk to the customer.”

“maybe you don’t want to always carry your cell phone”

now Wink has released its second main products Relay, a control center of the touch screen can be used as all networking equipment. Wink the co-founder and chief technology officer Nathan Smith said: “maybe you are cooking dinner or just take a shower, didn’t want to have a cell phone in hand. We want to develop a Wink and mobile application has the same functions and flexibility of product, it is the center of your home and 24 hours standby, do not need to use additional device can run independently.”

today on Amazon’s and Home Depot presold offered $300 Relay, this also proves that most of today’s intelligent household, or a group of mechanically arranged together, connected to each other without communication equipment. Wink’s aim is to ensure that customers all smart home can be normal use. Remove the smartphone intelligent household equation sounds a bit ironic, but the main function, just the signature of the Wink.

Relay is designed to be ‘switch connected to the standard wiring and lighting, but if you isn’t cold this basic electrician, then you may need to be an expert to help you install it. It has a commanding touch screen device synchronization, there are two such as morning power off night starting power execution of physical buttons for the daily operation. Relay can be run on Android, and it and Wink Hub, can pass the wi-fi, Bluetooth, and wireless devices such as Zigbee connected to household intelligent devices.

since the Relay is based on the forming their own network connected, so even if your wi-fi referrals, it can also work as usual. Especially for this like I use Time Warner’s Internet. This is a very good backup mobile applications. When you have kids, or have a guest visit, Relay is also very helpful, because they may not be applied in mobile phone is equipped with Wink. Its goal is to restore some simple experience of touch switch, retain the function of smart home and personality.

from an industry group, a steam drill to air conditioning installation master, Wink today, general manager of Brett he drifted for nearly 10 years. In the end, he chose to help enterprises to enter the intelligence lives in such an emerging market, the change is very bitter.

“I’ve been working very hard to explain to him: the company will go bankrupt”

Wink executives want to be the winner of the smart home market, but before the customers accept a technology, they are not willing to focus on the above. “I’ve been working very hard to explain to him: the company will go bankrupt. Look at the Blackberry, its market share was 90%. He not innovation, just waiting for the transition of the market direction, so that the company can not but bankruptcy?”

at last, he got more evidence that, so he went to his boss argued: “I remember when Nest launched, our company seems to be made a box on the ear. We have been studying the intelligent thermostat, but the effect is not big. Because you stubbornly insist on the engineering practice, hasn’t been any breakthrough on design and interface, a small start-up companies are now climbed to your head, the customer is god.”

when he intends to help create a Wink, it firmly remember the lesson. He explained: “you must be a statement to awaken the people, let them know that this is a real change. Mark is like me all struggle talented person know how you want to get to realize this dream.” Do big means to try to show the products to more customers, Home Depot is so popular.

Home Depot’s vice President of sales, Jeff Epstein said: “there is no way here shouted, ‘give me a set of intelligent household! “Only some early adopters and interests gadgets will be specially to buy back. He said, “are mostly people just want to replace a broken water heater or garage door. We will show our products to customers, then explain to them, as long as spend a few dollars, they can get a bonus of networking equipment.”

there is no way here shouted, ‘give me a set of intelligent household! ‘”

prior to the release of the Wink, Home Depot has about 600 networking products. Epstein said: “all of them will not exchange.” All items are according to the product category, with a lot of similar products on the shelves, fundamental points is not clear what is smart devices. “With the Wink, we’ll have something to tell. You can look for the trademark, look at the back cover display, and then trained colleagues will explain to you about all the details of the application and the center.” In view of the company’s larger retail space, also can yet be regarded as a good way to promotion platform story. “We are very satisfied with the results.”

customer came to shop at first might not want a full set of intelligent household, but once they bought the same networking equipment, they are likely to buy more. Wink, found that bought the center control equipment would be in the next 30 days to buy a double networking equipment. Wink’s biggest competitors SmartThings issued a similar statistics: generally speaking, the customer during the last six months will be increased from the original 5 networking equipment to 10 pieces, and every day to open the application about 4 times, received about 15 notice.

we are intelligent household adopted a tipping point. Five americans have a networked appliances. In a recent survey, two-thirds of the people said if networking equipment to help them to save the electricity and water bills or improve housing security, they will choose to buy them. The question is, who to promote your market circulation?

in January this year, Google spent $3.2 billion buying Nest. In addition, Microsoft is Insteon home in networking equipment cooperation, it’s desktop or other mobile devices all can use. In June, Apple launched HomeKit all over the world, designed to make your iPhone and Watch Apple become the universal remote control of smart home. In August, all all mobile phone giant Samsung bought SmartThings managers want to be you can household equipment.

“what support your platform ecological system?”

it makes Wink at a unique, also can saying is advantageous position. It doesn’t sell their networking equipment, so retailers such as Amazon and Home Depot in its sales at the same time also need not alienated from other manufacturers. Second Wink new products (new light bulb, washing machine, a thermostat) development phase can directly and many like Phillips, Bosch and Honeywell company cooperation, because it does not intend to production and their competitive products. Strange is, the parent of Wink also did a lot of innovation, but the two companies to set up legal firewall to prevent product information sharing, Wink cooperative dealers also seems to be very satisfied.

according to the negotiation, related data show that Wink is according to the Target or Lowe ‘s idea, as far as possible the products displayed in front of more consumers, so it is going to work with another American retail giant. Wink, co-founder of Nathan Smith said: “we don’t worry, on the contrary, we are excited to join our new power, this is a good one million. I don’t think we are the direct competitors of the company. People have been asking who will be the final winner of smart home market, but the question itself is not reasonable, a person to control the whole market is really is too difficult. It’s like people asked in 1999, ‘who will be the biggest winner of the Internet? ‘”

Smith said Wink to focus on expanding the brand, regardless of who is or who use the technology, it just want to do a dabble in all areas of the company. Relay is one part of it. “One of our goals even as far as possible make the choice of diversification. And we want you to take home all the smart devices, including those who haven’t.”


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