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.

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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.

Related: Will.i.am and Wink’s First Z-Wave Devices: A Shift in Smart-Home Strategy?

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:

This is starting to get old, and very, very confusing.