Struggling smart home platform Wink has been acquired by lifestyle and technology company, i.am+, the company owned by musician and hit and miss (but mostly miss) tech entrepreneur will.i.am.
Wink has had a rocky existence, starting life as part of the failing tech incubator Quirky, only to be spun-off after Quirky went bankrupt. In an emailed statement, Wink said both the app and the Wink hub will continue to operate as before. “Our teams are in the process of coming together to shape our future roadmap and we can’t wait to share what we’re working on,” the company said. “The acquisition doesn’t change anything with regards to the Wink user experience.” The company said it would introduce new in-app features and partner integrations over the next few months.
will.i.am has many interests in the technology industry, but this will be his first venture into the smart home. The Black Eyed Peas rapper previously launched an insanely expensive iPhone case, took a high-end luxury car and made it into a camera, and released two smartphone watches, one of which a Verge reporter called the “worst product I’ve touched all year.”
Wink’s mission is to basically tie together any smart device you bring into a smart home. But it’s something that both Apple, Google, SmartThings (which is backed by Samsung), and so many others are also trying to do. With major players already in this space it’ll be interesting to see what kind of buzz will.i.am can create. As Gizmodo points out, at the very worst, we’ll just have to deal with the fact he has control over our smart homes.