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will.i.am Just Bought the Struggling Smart Home Hub Wink

Black Eyed Peas singer and entrepreneur will.i.am.Black Eyed Peas singer and entrepreneur will.i.am.
Black Eyed Peas singer and entrepreneur will.i.am.Photograph by Eamonn McCormack/Getty Images

i.am+, aka the Hollywood-based technology company owned by Black Eyed Peas singer will.i.am, has added struggling smart home platform Wink to its roster of products.

Wink, billed as a “smarter app for the smart home,” has had a rocky history. The platform was incubated inside Quirky, which went bankrupt in 2015 and was then sold off to Flextronics. The product itself is not original, with larger competitors like Samsung (with its SmartThings), Google (with Nest) and Apple creating similar platforms. And, based on user reviews, Wink has numerous flaws.

It remains to be seen what will.i.am and his company have in mind for Wink, but according to a memo acquired by TechCrunch, the acquisition won’t lead to any immediate changes in the product.

This is not the first baffling business decision will.i.am has made. Previous products include the now-defunct i.am+ foto.sosho, a pricey iPhone case intended to improve the phone’s camera and the puls, not a smartwatch but a “smart band”. The only item i.am+ currently sells is buttons, wireless Bluetooth headphones, which have also had mixed reviews.