NEWS & UPDATES

Thinka Explains How Security and Data Protection Underlie the Thinka KNX Smart Home Hub

With KNXperience in full swing, our founder and CEO Michael Franken was interviewed by KNXToday.

Michael explains how Security and Data Protection underlie the Thinka KNX Bridge as one of the four design principles.

Our four design principles are:

A Smart home needs Smart Controls

Controls, that are convenient and super easy to use. At Thinka, we choose the iPhone. A device you already have and take with you all the time; that fits in your pocket, and that your family members use as well. Thinka allows you to take control of your home with an app made by Apple, powerful but simple.

A Powerful Brain on Site

Thinka KNX is the brain that sits in your smart home. An intuitive brain that makes life easy, or at least makes it look easy. This brain understands all the complexity of protocols and accessories, monitors the state of your home and accessories and presents all the various options as a select and tasteful menu. Thinka can easily read all KNX configurations (in ETS) and assist in the configuration of your smartphone or tablet. Thinka is equipped with a powerful processor, so she is not depending on the cloud for computing power.

Your home - Your data

Your home is your castle – a safe haven. Thinka does not need to know how you live, we do not require an account, and we do not ask for your data. All data stays on your Thinka, and we have no access to it. Thinka has no need to leave your house, if you choose to. Thinka also works with Google Home and Amazon Alexa. It is important to realise they have a different philosophy: they require an account and your data is processed in the cloud. That’s why our first focus is on Apple HomeKit, as it can totally run within your home.

Officially certified Apple HomeKit

Being the brain of your smart home comes with responsibilities. That’s why Thinka is officially certified by Apple. We do not allow for work-arounds. Apple certification demands that the Thinka is equipped with an authentication chip (MFI). This chip is also used in all Apple products and makes communication between Thinka and your iPhone totally safe. Also when you leave the house,  and control your home remotely or install geofencing.

Read the interview of our CEO Michael Franken at KNXToday

KNX Today Topstory


Import ETS projects in Thinka

Importing ETS Projects into THINKA becomes a piece of cake, when setting up your ETS projects via the Link With Function of ETS5.

When using the Link With functionality, the import of ETS Projects into THINKA is done almost automatically, with manual adjustments decreased to a bare minimum. The functionality creates the group addresses for you. This is done using Floors, Rooms, Channels and Functions. Although released already in April 2016, we notice that a lot of System Integrators are not yet making use of this hidden gem in ETS5.

We have prepared a THINKA Video Tutorial in which we show you how to set up a project in ETS using the Linked With functionality and how to import your ETS Project into THINKA.

New HomeKit features in iOS 14 announced at Apple WWDC 2020

This week Apple held their yearly WWDC and announced a lot of new features. For Thinka this means that there are some interesting features for HomeKit users:

The Home app makes smart home control even easier with new automation suggestions and expanded controls in Control Centre for quicker access to accessories and scenes. Adaptive Lighting for compatible HomeKit-enabled lights automatically adjusts the colour temperature throughout the day. The Home app and HomeKit are built to be private and secure, so all information about a user’s home accessories is end-to-end encrypted.

This means that as soon as iOS 14 is available you will be able to adjust the colour temperature of your lights according to the time of day, just like you are used to on your iPhone, where it is called "Night Shift". Night shift automatically shifts the colours of your display to the warmer end of the colour spectrum after dark. This may help you get a better night's sleep.

Also there a few new icons on the HomeApp, that will show the most important devices and events in your Home.

Thinka launches a new version of their Thinka Setup App to the Apple AppStore

Recently the new version of our app was accepted by Apple and released in the App Store. The app now allows you to monitor the status of your network and KNX system. Furthermore it supports Thinka's that are protected with a password.

Just like before it still assists you in pairing your Thinka with HomeKit on your phone, and putting all devices in the proper rooms. The app will show a notification of the number of Thinka accessories that are out-of-sync with HomeKit as well.

If you have any questions or requests, please let us know via support@thinka.eu If you like the app, please leave a review in the App Store, we really appreciate it.

Thinka added a new service

What if … your favorite football team is playing and when they score your lights start flashing!
What if ... it starts raining and your sun shades close automatically!

That’s possible with Thinka because besides Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, Thinka can also be connected with Olisto.
Olisto connects your devices, apps, and services and makes them all work together. How? By creating your own rules. Build real time connections between multiple devices, apps and services.

Have a look for the summary of features you can control using Olisto.
Or start using Olisto by enabling the feature on your Thinka and visit the Thinka channel on Olisto.

Thinka Team available for support

Dear Thinka Customer,

Current developments regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) are raising many questions over the whole world. That’s why we would like to inform you about the current situation at Thinka.

The Thinka Team is as usual available for support, we are working on updates and making Thinka even better.The webshop is open 24 hours a day. You can reach us via e-mail support@thinka.eu and telephone +31(0)20 2420666 from Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 17:30.

We are convinced that we will master this crisis together and wish you, your family and your colleagues the best of luck and health in the coming weeks!

We will of course keep you informed of all developments.
Do you have any questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Stay safe and healthy,
Team Thinka

Support for older KNX RGBW dimmers

Thinka has been supporting color lights for a while, with the latest version 4.3.1046, support has been expanded to include KNX actuators with separate dimmer channels for all colors.

For configuration, select the “Lightbulb (Color)” service type and “Separate color channels” for the Color Datapoint Type parameter. Each color channel needs to be configured with set and listen addresses for the switch and brightness group objects. The white channel is optional.

Thinka for KNX is Apple certified for 5 new features!

As of now Thinka is Apple certified for push buttons, tunable white lights, color lights, leak and smoke sensors. Again a great step forward. All HomeKit, Alexa and Google supported features can be found here.

The 5 new supported features:

  • Push buttons allow you to trigger actions in HomeKit by pressing KNX buttons.
  • Use the color lightbulb service for any light that can change color.
  • Use the tunable white lightbulb service for any non-colored light that can adjust the apparent color temperature (warm white to cool white).
  • A leak sensor is used to detect broken water pipes or other leakage. When leakage is detected quick action can be taken to limit the damage.
  • A smoke sensor is used to quickly detect and alert in case of fire or smoke.

Latest ETS version 5.7 supported by Thinka

The latest ETS 5.7 software release (and all other 5.X versions) is now supported by Thinka. See the KNX support site for details on this release.
Watch this video to see how easy Thinka handles the import of an ETS project file.

Voice control and Thinka makes life easier for the disabled

Seldom has home automation contributed so much to the quality of life as in the home of Bernhard Müller. The Dutch entrepreneur was diagnosed with the incurable illness amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 2010. The powerful combination of KNX home automation in combination with Thinka voice control give Bernhard the opportunity to life and work at home as independently as possible.

The whole - and impressive - article is published In the KNX Journal of March 2019.

Download KNX Journal 2019 ALS article English or German

Research shows 17444 KNX buildings are accessible to hackers

Joost Schellevis published an article on a national Dutch news channel with the results of a study by ethical hacker Daan Keuper (Computest) showing 17444 buildings with the systems based on the KNX standard are easily accessible to hackers. The complete article can be found here.

KNX authentication
The source of this vulnerability lies in the fact that the KNX system is opened up to the Internet with a IP-Gateway that is not properly secured. A KNX IP-Gateway can be safe when properly installed by your home automation specialist. Unfortunately this is not common practice.

Use Thinka-for-KNX bridge and Apple for proper security
Thinka developed a KNX bridge to control houses and buildings using Apple HomeKit. Each Apple device and Thinka itself is equipped with an encryption chip realising secure communication.

Thinka is HomeKit certified so all communication between your KNX installation and the Thinka is encrypted. To guarantee security and privacy, Thinka is installed inside your KNX enabled home and information from your configuration is never exposed over the internet. Thinka only communicates to
the internet for software updates and when using Alexa or Google Home.

Thinka is now also certified for Google Home

It’s official, Thinka for KNX now works with the big three: Apple, Amazon and Google.


How to get it for free?
All you need to do is go to the settings page of your Thinka and you will find the option to enable Google Home support*. Meanwhile you can read how to setup Google on your Thinka from our support page.

Work in progress
Google is growing its platform and we keep up to date with them as much as possible. For now its possible to work with switches and lights. See also the overview of all supported features supported features for Apple, Amazon and Google. If you have any question, something not working, a wish, please let us know via support@thinka.eu.

Some users need to upgrade
Google Smart Home support is available on the certified HomeKit version of Thinka for KNX.

  • Thinka owners with an Echo-only version can trade-in their Thinka here.
  • Thinka owners with an HomeKit beta version can trade-in their Thinka here.

A brand new user interface and improved configuration

Based on user feedback Thinka has improved the way you can configure your Thinka.

What is new?

1. Incremental import
When importing your ETS file again, the existing configuration stays intact and all changes gathered in the 'Review room'. From here you can start fine-tuning your configuration.

2. Review room
In the review room all items are shown that need additional information or were added when you performed an incremental import. A kind of to-do list.

3. Autocomplete group addresses
For all accessories you need to fill in the group addresses. When you start typing (the service name) Thinka gives a list of options you can choose from. Select the right item and all addresses are automatically filled in. This feature helps you speeding up the configuration process. See this video for an example. In order for this to work you need to (re)import your ETS file.

4. Drag & Drop
You can now drag and drop accessories to a room. See this video for an example.

5. Edit and Save
When you edit the configuration it will not be applied until you press the 'Save' button. This way editing becomes easier.

More information can be found at:

Thinka support pages
Thinka Vimeo channel

Routines and notifications with Alexa + Thinka for KNX

Amazon Alexa works with ’Routines’ allowing the voice assistant to complete multiple tasks with a single voice command. With Routines users no longer have to give multiple commands to Alexa, such as “Alexa, turn off the living room lamp,” “Alexa, turn down the thermostat,” and “Alexa, what's the weather”.  Instead, you can let Alexa take care of them with one command. And Alexa can give you a spoken notification back.

Routines can be triggered in two ways. You give the command to start a routine. For example ‘movie time’.
Or use a contact or motion sensor to start a routine automatically.

Some examples:

  • You are coming home after a nice day at work. You open up the door and Alexa welcomes you with the following spoken message: “Welcome home”, plus the lights turn on softly.
  • You enter the kitchen in the morning and Alexa welcomes you with: “Good morning”, the lights go on, the curtains open, the alarm is switched off and the heating is turned up.
  • When you say, “Alexa, I’m leaving” the lights in the kitchen turn off at once, the heating is turned down and the light at the main entrance turns on.


Thinka for KNX
Thinka for KNX connects Amazon Alexa to your home meaning all selected devices in your house - including your smart sensors - can be used in routines. So you’re totally free in making your house more smart and comfortable. Works with Apple Homekit as well.

A world premiere for Alexa + Thinka for KNX

For Alexa, the voice assistant of Amazon, Thinka developed a great new feature.

Control color and tunable white lights
House owners with a KNX system and a Thinka KNX bridge can now use Amazons voice assistant ALEXA to set the lights in any color they want. It works for color (HSB) and tuneable white lights. Thinka is the first one in the world making this possible.

‘Alexa, Set the living room lights purple’‘
Alexa, turn the bathroom lights warm red’

An overview of all supported features by Thinka for KNX can be viewed over here.

A luxury hotel room with Thinka voice control

In this video you can see how voice control is being used in the Royal Suite of the Pomegranate Wellness Spa Hotel. It shows voice control of lights, thermostat, curtains, scenes, and more. This hotel room uses KNX home automation and a Thinka, a bridge connecting KNX to the world of Google, Amazon and Apple and gives users all new kind of possibilities like voice control, touch control, geo fences and more.

A KNX project of George Karipidis.

Thinka is keeping you warm this winter

Thinka has multiple configuration options, mostly optional, for controlling thermostats. I'll try to explain each option and try to describe how this option is available in HomeKit.

First off, the most simple version of a thermostat is one where you can only set   the target temperature. To get this to work Thinka only requires two group addresses. One address for the actual temperature and one for the setpoint temperature. Use a temperature sensor when you only want to be able to read the actual temperature. This will show up in Apple's Home app as a simple temperature slider. Or use Siri:"Hey Siri, it's cold in here" "Okay, I'm warming the living room from 19°C to 20°C."

We can also let Thinka know if your KNX climate system is currently heating or not. This is done with the "Heating status" setting. When you system is heating this will show in the Home app as "Heating to X°" and the icon will turn orange.

Same goes for "Cooling status". This only applies if you KNX climate system supports cooling and it works the same as the "Heating status" above. This will show in the Home app as "Cooling to X°" and the icon will turn blue.

Some KNX climate systems require manual switching between heating and cooling and don't do this automatically. For this to work from HomeKit you can use the "Heating/cooling mode" setting. This setting shows up in HomeKit when long pressing the thermostat icon in the Home app and then go to "Mode" at the bottom of the screen. When this setting isn't used the "Mode" will be set to "Auto" and Thinka expects the KNX climate system to switch between heating and cooling automatically.

The last available setting is "Operating mode". This enables the HomeKit option to set the Thermostat to "Off" from the "Mode" menu. For most KNX climate systems this means the system is switched from "Comfort" to "Building protect" and prevents freezing or overheating the system.

Thinka at Light + Building 2018 in Frankfurt

Thinka was exhibitor at the Light + Building Trade Fair in Frankfurt. The number of visitors and positive reactions at the Thinka stand where overwhelming.

Thank you all for who have visited us.
We are already looking forward to Light + Building 2020.

Vote now on the KNX People’s Choice Award

Top entrepreneur and ALS patient Bernard Muller uses Thinka to control his home. Thinka connects Apple's voice assistant Siri to KNX. With only his voice Bernard is now able to move around his house without the need for help from other people. Even his in-house elevator is now voice controlled. This gives him mental and physical freedom.

This case is nominated for the prestigious KNX People’s Choice Award. Please help us promote this case by voting for Bernard and Siri for KNX. Three good reasons to do so:

  • Voice control is a great innovation for all physically challenged people
  • When winning we will donate the price money to the ALS project MinE
  • Win one of the two Thinka's for Siri (share your vote on Facebook or Twitter to qualify)

HOW TO VOTE:

  • Go to: https://contest.knx.org/ and 'register' at the top left section. This is to make sure you can vote only once.
  • Click 'KNX helps ALS patient live at home less dependant' directly or click on 'CHOOSE YOUR FAVORITE PROJECT' and scroll down to find our case and press the vote button.
  • Share your vote on Facebook or Twitter.

Thank you for your help!

Michael Franken - CEO & Founder Thinka
Mike van der Hulst - CEO Domoticom & Founder Thinka
Bernard Muller - Founder project MinE

Amazon brengt Echo-speakers uit in Benelux

Yesterday, the Amazon Alexa app could finally be used in the Netherlands! Ordering the Amazon Echo speaker was not possible, but from today onwards you can! Have a look at this article on Tweakers

Thinka has left the building...

The first 100 Thinkas are on their way to their new owners and we can't wait to hear how Alexa is getting on in her new KNX home(s).

☑️ Software                                        ☑️ Assembly
☑️ PCB                                                ☑️ Packaging
☑️ Casing

All parts are delivered. Almost there!

We have received all the parts to build a (Amazon Echo) Thinka.
Next week we'll perform our last tests and start packaging:

☑️ Software                           ◽️ Assembly
☑️ PCB                                   ◽️ Packaging
☑️ Casing


Custom Thinka boards finished and delivered

Getting real close now!

Cases from China have arrived

We just received our new casing from China. Soon we will start building Thinkas!

Thinka has a new skill!

We have completed development of Amazon Echo support. Amazon Echo is available in the UK and Germany and is becoming more and more popular

We are offering Amazon Echo support for free.

Reached a couple of important milestones

We have made good progress and are about to finalise all custom hardware.

Mould for the custom case

The production of the custom Thinka case has begun, starting with making the mould.
The casing wil be grey with a red bottom.

Hope you'll like it.

How to prepare a Thinka for use

Prepare your Thinka using this video instruction. It shows how to upload a new ETS project and edit the results to get your accessories ready.

Have fun watching our first video!

The first Thinkas have been shipped

The first early adopters have received their Thinkas. We have shipped the first batch on May 31st.
Next international shipment is expected to ship June 10th.

Thinka packaging has arrived!

The Thinka box has arrived together with the setup guide. Exiting times for Thinka and her early adopters.
Thinka is almost ready to be shipped...

Thinka update 2 april 2016

At the end of April the first Thinkas will be on their way. This is an exciting moment for us and a great step forward in the area of home and building automation. Below, a brief Thinka update.

Plug & Play
Thinka has two kinds of clients. One is the KNX system integrator and the other is the end-user. For both Thinka is striving for the best user experience and a seamless onboarding process. This means a lot of testing and adjusting with real clients. For the KNX system integrator it is important to see, recognize and manage all items of the KNX system and get it ready to use for the end-user. For the end-user it is important to understand how the app works and how they can get the most out of it. We have received some great feedback from our real-world tests that is helping us improve the Thinka experience for everyone.

Thinka selected to join StartupFest opening

From 24-28 May 2016 The Netherlands will be the place where every startup in the world wants to be. It is a four day marathon of matchmaking between startups, investors, developers and corporates. Fourteen regional innovation hubs will host world class events on specialised topics.
See also: startupfesteurope

Thinka is one of the selected startups to join the opening event.
Very exciting, especially with this great speakers around:

  • Tim Cook - CEO Apple
  • Nathan Blecharczyk - founder & CTO Airbnb
  • Travis Kalanick - CEO Uber
  • Gillian Tans - President & COO Booking.com