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Wink to take control of GE's smart appliances

With a new integration for GE's ConnectPlus Wi-Fi module, Wink is beginning to wade into large appliance waters.

Ry Crist/CNET

Wink is bringing new support for GE's large appliances into its smart-home ecosystem, the connected brand announced this week. With version 2.8.0 of the Wink app installed on their smartphones, users will now be able to connect with GE ConnectPlus, a Wi-Fi plug-in module that adds remote connectivity to select GE refrigerators.

With the Connect Plus module plugged into your fridge's RJ45, phone-jack-style port, you can adjust the temperature from your phone or receive an alert when the filter needs changing or if the door gets opened. Now, you'll be able to manage all of that through the Wink app alongside the rest of your Wink-compatible smart devices.

Moving forward, that could soon include new appliances from GE with Wink-compatible smarts built right in. Back in January, GE announced that a full suite of connected Profile Series appliances is on the way this year, including new refrigerators, ranges and dishwashers, as well as a connected washer and dryer and a smart water heater. All of them are set to pair with the Wink Hub , though GE hasn't ruled out compatibility with other platforms, too.

SmartThings and the Wink Hub are continuing to square off in 2015. Tyler Lizenby/CNET

The arrival of these smart appliances might seem to shift a new phase in the showdown to control the connected home. Wink rival SmartThings was acquired by Samsung last year, with large appliance integrations planned for the near future.

Still, connected large appliances have yet to connect with consumers in any sort of meaningful way, with many preferring less-expensive smart-home entry points. Given that sort of market hesitance, Wink might be wise to start with the $50 GE ConnectPlus while letting large-scale options continue to evolve.