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Wink smart home hubs on the blink after update

Over the weekend, some people got a peek at the downside of the connected home. The Wink Hub, a smart-home system designed to control everything from electrical devices to lighting, malfunctioned on April 18, causing headaches for customers. Throughout the outage, owners were not able to control any of their devices though the Wink app or schedule automated processes throughout their homes.

The device, which has Bluetooth and Wi-Fi capabilities, works with Apple and Android mobile devices to give homeowners control over appliances. Wink Hub can also communicate with Z-Wave and ZigBee devices, including light bulbs, door locks, and light dimmers.

The product retails for $50 on the Wink website, but since the outage, Wink Hub has become temporarily unavailable. To help customers, the company has posted instructions to recovery.wink.com for owners to recover their Hub on their own. However, the company notes that it may require some “technical” skill to do.

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For this reason, Wink has established a replacement program that individuals can join to avoid the hassle. In addition, Wink intends to start selling the device again within one week, and customers who were affected can sign up to receive a $50 Wink gift card.

“We know it takes a lot to earn your trust and fully expect that we’ve lost a great deal of it over the last 24 hours,” Wink wrote on its website, shortly after the outage. “We hope to move quickly to regain your faith in our platform.”

It’s worth noting that throughout the outage, Wink Hubs were secure and never vulnerable. The primary cause of the outage was a security measure implemented when Wink first launched, according to the company. Thus far, several Wink Hubs have been recovered and reconnected, but Wink is accepting malfunctioning Hubs from customers who choose to return them.