Readers may be familiar with the small Blink cameras that folks love to integrate into their home setups. We have discussed the cameras in our review of some of the most popular indoor home security cameras. The cameras offer a method of adding indoor and outdoor video feeds to a system without requiring any wiring for power or network connections. Specifically, the devices communicate via wireless and are battery-powered. Unfortunately, some Blink users may have become the latest victims of the fragmented Smart Home market, with its numerous walled-gardens and proprietary technologies.
It appears that earlier today emails were sent to Blink users announcing that the supported integration with the popular SmartThings hub effective immediately. The announcement allegedly came without any fanfare or any prior notice to users, and will likely leave a large number of users with cameras that no longer properly integrate into their system. While this could be interpreted by some folks as an opportunity to gloat about whichever hub they might prefer over SmartThings, it’s worth noting that many of those other hub integrations (including the one offered by my preference, HomeAssistant) relies on the same API as was being accessed via SmartThings, and the same fate could easily befall other hubs, too.
For the uninitiated, SmartThings makes a popular smart home hub that was purchased by Samsung in 2014. It’s unclear whether SmartThings has actually benefited under that relationship, and there was a coincidental (but presumably unrelated) announcement today that Samsung itself will no longer be making efforts to integrate the SmartThings app into their smart televisions, although users have been painfully aware that the integration efforts have been stalled for months prior to the more official announcement earlier today.
Let this serve as another example of why supporting open-source hubs and devices that have no need to phone home in order to continue operating are generally preferably in the smart home space.