Now the Lowe's Iris system has great options for controlling and monitoring your home energy usage, the energy efficiency and settings of your central heating and air conditioning, leak detectors to keep you from floating away, but it hasn't quite branched out to really making your home a “smart home”. It's great to have that kind of information available, and to be able to make changes to how you live in your home by using that information, but what about when you're at home and you want to watch a movie? Or you settle into a comfortable chair with a good book, or with your tablet to play a game or just surf the internet?
In those situations Wink really is one of the most stable, and up and coming control hubs you can have. While Revolv may talk to more devices, and Apple may promise a multiple network whole home control center, Wink is delivering a great cross section of devices geared towards making your home respond to you and what you are doing. There are robotic triggers that you can set to get the devices to respond to each other. It is possible to do these things with other controls using IFTTT or geographical sensing on your smart phone, but Wink makes it a bit easier by sensing state changes, or output signal and then issuing predetermined commands to other devices in the house.
Lets use two examples.
Waking up in the morning can be a chore. Rather then letting the obnoxious buzz/jangle of your phone or alarm clock startle you out of bed, imagine that the lights in your room slowly ignite in a soft red/orange combo that starts with only the fixtures farthest away from your bed, and slowly brighten over the course of 5-10 minutes. If that isn't enough to wake you slowly and much more naturally, the blinds in your room will trigger to open part way after the lights have started to brighten, letting in a little bit of that early morning light. It might be raining but that's okay. Shortly after the lights come up the speakers in the ceiling in your room and your bathroom start playing your favorite morning Pandora station at a soft level so as not to disturb anyone else in the house.
This very easily accomplished using Sonos speakers, Phillips Hue lighting and the automatic blind controls from Bali motorized window treatments. It's a much better way to wake up, it keeps you relaxed and stays away from the obnoxious noises that so rudely startle us awake every day.
Situation 2 can be applied to any number of instances. A romantic movie night, a rivalry football game in the man cave, or just sitting down to watch TV in the evening while trying to unwind after your long day. Simply using Wink to turn on a setting for television or movie, will trigger the speakers on to a preset volume, the TV on, the lights will dim around the room and over the TV while the ones at the back change color to red or a soft blue to not distract from the experience. Around the room the blinds lower to shut out the outside world and your intimate setting is ready for action. The best part? If you get up and leave the room, the room can sense your departure, pause the TV or movie and bring up the lights until you return and settle back into place.
These are the things that really start to make an automated house a Smart Home environment that reacts to you and the things you like to do. It makes it feel like your home works with you, instead of you having to work in or on it.