smart things

Why is WINK charging me to use their device now?

Wink

Episode 1694

Jeff from Laguna Beach, CA

Jeff says that WINK is now charging people $5 a month to use his WINK Home Hub. Leo says that they've changed the conditions of being able to use their product, especially since it costs over $100. It's not unheard of to charge to store data, but it would be like Amazon charging $5 a month to use the Echo devices out of nowhere. And it's even more frustrating because WINK sold their device with "no fees" as a feature. Now they're charging fees. But if they don't, they'll go out of business.

Can I configure my home automation network myself?

Episode 1243

Sean from Los Angeles, CA

Sean is frustrated with his home automation network that runs "Control4." Every time he adds something like a game console, he has to pay someone to come out and configure it. Why can't he just do it himself? Leo says that it may be due to the home automation hardware which requires configuring when he adds or removes something. A more open home automation solution like Smart Things would allow him to do more himself.

How can I monitor my home?

SmartThings Hub

Episode 1209

G. Scott from Minnesota

G. Scott has a client who wants to monitor their cabin from their home, including temperature, humidity, and if their septic tank isn't working. Leo suggests SmartThings. They can put the hub into the cabin and the hub talks wirelessly to the sensors installed in the house. The problem with home automation, though, is that there are no standards for it. It's really new. But SmartThings is very good place to start.