31.07.17

Will.i.am's technology company i.am+ acquires Wink

Wink Hub 2 Bulb Phone set up

No April fool’s day hasn’t come early – Will.i.am has splashed the cash on buying Wink in the hope of resurrecting the fortunes of the home hub manufacturer.

Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa… Wink? Could these be the future leaders of the smart home market? In all likelihood, perhaps not – but the Black Eyed Peas singer and TV star will.i.am has high hopes for his latest purchase.

Although it debuted the Wink Hub 2 last year, Wink has a had a rather tumultuous history since coming to market so far – the company went bankrupt in 2015 and went on to be sold to chipmaker Flextronics (for around $15 million) after being born from the New York-based developer Quirky.

According to Flex’s latest quarterly report, Wink was sold for more than double the price the company paid for it, with $38.7 million spent on the sale in addition to a $20 million commitment toward future manufacturing.

One positive announcement to recently come out of Wink HQ, however, was it being one of the first major integrations announced with Google Home earlier this year.

i.am’s foray into the technology industry has so far not been entirely well-received – with offerings including the $315 foto.sosho camera case (aka “the world's first digital camera accessory and app combination”) debuted at CES in 2013 and “smartcuffs”/smartphone combo. But it seems like Mr i.am wants to put these past ventures well and truly behind him as focuses on taking a piece of the smart home pie.

There’s been no news from Wink what lies ahead in terms of new products – watch this space (wearable cuffs that control your home could well be on the horizon...)