There’s money to be made in the world of home automation and smart gadgets. The industry could be worth over $21 billion by the year 2020, and major companies like Google, Amazon, Apple, Samsung and others are slowly inching their way into the world of the smart-home.
In an ever-growing industry that’s showing much promise, it’s no surprise that Will.i.am., the musician, entrepreneur and actor known for founding the musical group The Black Eyed Peas is getting it started in the home security would.
Will.i.am has purchased Wink, the home security tool that was owned by Flextronics, who bought Wink out of bankruptcy. He purchased the company through I.am+, his lifestyle and technology company.
How Much was the Acquisition?
A quarterly tax report of Flextronics shows that Wink was sold for $38.7 million to an undisclosed third party, and $20 million toward future manufacturing was included. Will.i.am and his group have not disclosed how much they purchased Wink for, but if this were the correct amount, it’s much more than the $15 million that Flextronics originally purchased Wink for in 2015.
A statement released by Wink says that operations will continue as usual, and in the coming months they will even reveal new features and partnerships. As of now the website for Will.i.am.’s company I.am+ has no mention of the device.
What Use Does Will.i.am. Have?
Similar to other rappers, Will.i.am has ventured into selling headphones and other minor tech and products. It’s common for musicians, especially those in the hip-hop world, to aim at larger ventures and businesses. One of the most notable is Beats by Dre, founded by Dr. Dre.
Since the home automation industry is rapidly growing and home security is here to stay, with an ever-growing catalog of devices that can connect with a home, it makes sense that people are aiming to make their mark in the industry. Whether or not products will stick is another story, and the amount of times Wink and Flextronics have already been sold is not promising.
What is Wink?
Wink is a smart-hub that works by pairing and connecting with various other home automated devices. Tools that connect with Wink include Bali Automated Blinds, GE Link LED’s, GE Profile Series Remote Enabled Built-In Convection Wall Ovens, the Kidde 2-in-1 Wireless Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm, Kwikset SmartCode 910 Deadbolts, and many others.
Wink can connect 35 smart products into its app, and their largest move was a partnership with Home Depot to sell the device at their stores. Wink is also available via Amazon.
Among integration with a wide array of products, brands and network protocols, the biggest selling point for Wink is their low price. But many users have complained that Wink’s app frequently experienced glitches, and users make frequent calls to customer service to get their devices to work.
The Wink tool, which slightly looks an Apple TV, is a large white square that stands upright and connects to a detachable power adapter. It’s an interesting device with expansive connectivity, but whether or not it can compete with larger brands like Apple and Samsung is yet to be seen. Its recent issues finding a permanent owner is troubling. We’ve got a feeling that only time will tell if Will.i.am and his company can find the love for the Wink Hub.