Smart home platform Wink has announced that it’ll finally roll out its controversial new $4.99-per-month subscription on July 27th, following months of delays. The subscription will put many of the service’s previously free features behind a paywall, including crucial aspects of the service like the ability to update firmware or add new devices.
“Please know that we have adjusted our timelines since our initial announcement on May 6th to allow users more opportunity to make considerations. We were able to extend our service so that subscriptions will now begin on Monday, July 27th, 2020,” reads the latest blog post announcing the delay.
Any users who don’t sign up will see their Wink devices severely limited in what they can do going forward. Customers who don’t subscribe will have local access to a list of select devices but will be locked out of almost all of Wink’s features, including API support, voice controls, cloud controls, third-party integrations, advanced settings, the ability to add new devices, edit device names, or even update the firmware for Wink’s Hub and Relay hardware.
Wink — which has been owned by Will.i.am’s technology company i.am+ since 2017 — was already in trouble when i.am+ started to run out of money in 2019, The Verge reported. The announcement of the subscription service on May 6th seemed to confirm that, with Wink noting that “long term costs and recent economic events have caused additional strain on our business.” In a later post, Wink claimed that it “had no other way to continue the Wink service as it is currently known” without a paid subscription.
The monthly subscription was originally set to kick on just a week after Wink had announced it on May 13th, although the company has repeatedly pushed back that date: first to May 20th and then a second indefinite delay as it worked to give users more time to consider whether they’d like to sign up. But with the July 27th announcement, it seems that Wink is finally going through with the new monthly fee.