The Thinka HomeKit Z-Wave hub expands your Apple smart home arsenal

It's expensive but, if it lives up to its billing, it could be a game changer

Thinka's HomeKit Z-Wave hub
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Thinka is launching a Z-Wave smart home hub with a difference; the Amsterdam based brand is claiming it is the first world's first certified HomeKit controller for Z-Wave.

Z-Wave, in case you didn't know, is a wireless protocol for connectivity within the smart home. There are more than 100 million Z-Wave devices in smart homes worldwide, with over 3,500 Z-Wave enabled devices.

That means, in theory, that by adding the Thinka Z-Wave controller to your Apple HomeKit system, you are opening up your system to more than 3,500 smart home devices; such as locks, motion sensors, lights and switches.

Think of it as the same way you can currently add a Philips Hue bridge to a HomeKit system and get control of all of the Hue bulbs that bridge is synced to... but on a much bigger scale.

There are currently ways of getting Z-Wave devices in sync with HomeKit, such as using Homebridge but, as Thinka states, there's nothing official (or easy) as of yet.

The Thinka HomeKit Z-Wave hub expands your Apple smart home arsenal

This hub, should it perform as its makers state, could change that.

“90% of all HomeKit accessories are based on WiFi or Bluetooth, which, unlike the Z-wave protocol, are not optimized for home automation." said Michael Franken, Founder and CEO of Thinka.

"Z-Wave offers a full range of over 3,000 smart home products, so by unlocking Z-Wave for HomeKit, Thinka brings the best of two worlds together.”

This compatibility does come at a pretty hefty cost, however. The hub costs €429, which is more than 4x the current market leading Z-Wave hub: The Aoetec SmartThings hub. Aoetec's version doesn't tie in natively to HomeKit though.

As well as the HomeKit action, the Thinka controller is also compatible with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant

We'll hopefully be putting the Thinka Z-Wave HomeKit hub through its paces in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for our full review.

TAGGED    apple home    smart home

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