Will.i.am’s First Big Home Automation Play: Ho-Hum Wink ‘Lookout’ Security System
The famous rapper acquired home-automation maker Wink earlier this year, and his first new DIY product is ... the unremarkable Lookout home-security app and some Z-Wave sensors.
Wink, the smart-home company acquired by rap star will.i.am earlier this year, is officially in the home-security business with the new DIY "Lookout" system - a Wink home-automation hub with new Z-Wave-enabled Wink sensors, and a security-centric app.
We discovered the sensors in August through Wink's FCC filings, and now they're (almost) for real -- a PIR motion sensor ($39), door/window sensor ($29), and siren/chime ($39). The rap star so far has not indicated why Wink felt compelled to make its own Z-Wave devices.
For $199, consumers get a second-generation Wink Hub 2, two window/door sensors, a motion sensor and a siren and chime. Users can add any "Wink-compatible" alarm, camera, doorbell, door/window sensor, garage door, lock or motion sensor to the system; however, in the FAQs Wink explains Lookout does not integrate with camera video recording at this time.
The Lookout app is described as a "new dashboard in Wink where you can keep track of activity around your home in a single place. Receive instant alerts when activity is detected, know the exact sensor that tripped right away, and view recent/previous activity."
Sounds pretty much like the regular Wink app when used with third-party Z-Wave devices, but I haven't used Wink in a while. Perhaps the alerts and history functions are new, or maybe these Lookout "actions":
- Dismiss the recent activity alerts
- Turn Siren On (if you have an alarm or siren added to Lookout)
- Call 911 (this will open a phone call)
- Call a Contact (this will open your phone’s contacts)
Compared to every other new DIY security system on the planet, Wink's seems unremarkable. There's no option for professional monitoring -- just an "easy button" to dial 911 during an alarm event.
Wink Competitors in a Crowded DIY Security Market
Here's what Wink is up against:
- Nest Secure starter kit ($499), with optional professional monitoring provided by MONI.
- Ring Protect DIY security and home automation system ($199), with no-contract monitoring + cloud storage for an unlimited number of cameras for $10 a month.
- Samsung/ADT Home Security Starter Kit built on 2Gig's GC3 panel ($550), with optional monitoring by ADT.
- Honeywell Smart Home Security, a stealthy new system launching Nov. 1 on Indiegogo
This is starting to get old, and very, very confusing.
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Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at email@example.com
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