Thinka Unveil World’s First Z-Wave HomeKit Hub

Netherlands-based Smart Home company Thinka (pronounced ‘Tinka’) has launched its brand new gateway, the Thinka Z-Wave. If you’re relatively deep into smart home tech, you may have heard of Z-Wave, but usually not in the same breath as HomeKit, up until now that is, as this new hub is the world’s first Apple HomeKit-certified Z-Wave controller. It’s designed to be compatible with a choice of over 3,300 smart Z-Wave products that, via the new gateway, will, in turn, be exposed to HomeKit. By choosing Z-Wave as a protocol, a whole new swathe of smart devices is now available to HomeKit users via the new hub. Whilst the focus of this product is HomeKit, the Thinka Z-Wave also supports Amazon and Google Home.

As previously mentioned, Thinka is specifically honed in on support for HomeKit as their home automation platform of choice, mostly due to the strong privacy aspect that HomeKit offers compared to some other platforms, which is also one aspect that Thinka and Z-Wave as an organisation want to stress as the central core of Z-Wave, and by extension the Thinka Hub.

The company state that by connecting Thinka Z-Wave to your HomeKit home, a whole arsenal of high-quality Z-Wave smart devices becomes available. This gives users instant access to things like smart switches, dimmers, thermostats, doorbells, sprinklers, speakers, fans, curtains and all kinds of smart sensors from 600 different brands.

Although many seasoned Smart Home users may have had mixed experiences with Z-Wave in the past, with the connectivity to HomeKit, things are set to become a lot easier. Unlike WiFi and Bluetooth, Z-Wave is specifically developed for home automation; the protocol has an optimal range from the basement to the attic and to the furthest corners of the garden, has no interference with other networks, and is very energy-efficient so that batteries in sensors can last upwards of 10 years. The Z-wave protocol has the largest product range in the world with products that connect seamlessly with each other. Add to that the claim that this hub is what you might be able to humorously refer to as “one hub to rule them all”, in the case of Thinka Z-Wave, it becomes almost that, in terms of Z-Wave products, at least compared to Zigbee hubs by the likes of Hue or Aqara for example, where the hubs are only designed to work with their own products to a large extent.

We’ll be putting this new hub through its paces to see that it can live up to the claims made, and assuming it does, it could mean that Z-Wave can finally be seen as a viable option to HomeKit users. The gateway uses a similar visual look to some other hubs, with understated white plastic, and just two user-operable ports at the back – an ethernet port to connect the gateway to your network, and a USB-C port for powering the device. There’s also a USB-A port, although that’s for internal use by Thinka at this time. The hub can also be wall-mounted with an included plate.


Thinka is an Amsterdam-based tech company. Starting in 2015 with the launch of their first product Thinka – HomeKit for KNX, Thinka focuses on smart home technology. Thinka provides homeowners with the tools to install and manage their smart home in an intuitive and easy way. Thinka believes that interacting with your home should be like driving a car; smart, safe and comfortable. Their goal is to build products that make life easier and more fun. For more information visit the company’s website – www.thinka.eu

The Editor

Editor - Musician, graphic designer and HomeKit aficionado.

6 thoughts on “Thinka Unveil World’s First Z-Wave HomeKit Hub

  • 7th September 2021 at 2:22 pm
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    Look forward to seeing how this works out. Have been super impressed with Thinka’s KNX gateway. Has been flawless to integrate KNX into HomeKit.

    Reply
  • Pingback: Ny hubb med stöd för Z-Wave och HomeKit

  • 7th September 2021 at 9:19 pm
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    The article fails to mention the €350 price tag. Seems a little expensive.

    Reply
    • 7th September 2021 at 9:20 pm
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      The price wasn’t provided with the press release at the time. Yes I agree it’s expensive though.

      Reply
  • 9th September 2021 at 3:29 am
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    This could finally solve my smart lighting requirements. I have admittedly self imposed criteria that have meant I have not been satisfied so far with any existing product but this might now solve this.

    Smart bulbs are ruled out because either some scenarios cannot be done by smart bulbs or the more common issue of not being able to use wired switches. (Death to batteries 🙂 )

    LightwaveRF is close but only does dimmers and not switches and is ‘fugly’.

    Lutron Caseta would be perfect but they stubbornly refuse to do a version for Europe.

    Legrand now have a Zigbee based solution using Netatmo HomeKit technology but their dimmer modules are double the width of their switch modules, also their gateway either has to have its own wall box or a DIN rail unit. I also get the impression that whilst it does HomeKit and I believe Alexa and Google Assistant it might be harder/impossible to link to other platforms.

    Insteon micro-modules with their own hub might do the job but they have promised and failed to deliver a new HomeKit compatible hub.

    A plethora of different makes of Zigbee and Z-Wave micro modules including Aeotec and Fibaro would again do the job but they are not officially linkable to HomeKit.

    However with this new Thinka hub it might be possible to use either Fibaro or Aeotec micro modules and achieve all I want. I just need to see if the Thinka hub can be linked to other smart home platforms e.g. Smartthings, Home Assistant etc. It would be great if Thinka also have plans to add Matter support.

    Reply
  • 9th September 2021 at 5:58 am
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    It’s definitely an interesting product, and the reviews for their KNX to HomeKit bridge, which is been out for a couple of years, have been good.

    Note that there are a few missing device classes, most obviously locks, which they indicate they will not be able to bring into HomeKit. (There is an FAQ on the company site which has details.)

    But for lighting and sensors, this could be very interesting, if expensive.

    Reply

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