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article imageAmazon quietly bought security cam startup Blink for $90m

By James Walker     Feb 12, 2018 in Technology
Amazon acquired security camera company Blink in a deal worth $90 million, according to a report today. The acquisition was completed late last year and is intended to strengthen the hardware capabilities of Amazon products such as the Echo and Cloud Cam.
The deal was disclosed in a short post on Blink's blog back in December. The story did not gain media attention until Reuters published a report today, confirming with people "familiar with the matter" that Amazon has bought the company for its unique chip technology.
Blink produces smart home cameras that use special energy-efficient chips to extend their battery life and reduce operating costs. Amazon's understood to be interested in the technology as a way to differentiate its own smart home products. The smart home market is becoming increasingly competitive so advantages such as lower power consumption and a longer runtime are sought after by manufacturers.
Amazon's current in-home devices, such as the Echo smart speaker and Cloud Cam connected security system, require a constant connection to a power source. This is fairly standard across the smart home ecosystem as device makers are yet to address the power demands of sophisticated connected products. Blink's portfolio can run for months or even years from a set of regular AA batteries, cutting the need for a power cord altogether.
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With Blink's expertise now available to Amazon's hardware teams, future Alexa-connected smart accessories could boast similar power-saving capabilities. According to Reuters, the company is considering new chips "exclusive to Blink" that could improve power efficiency and cut down production costs. Consumers would also benefit from increased versatility as devices could be placed in areas of the home without power sockets.
The first device being targeted for a Blink upgrade is Cloud Cam. This is an important component of Amazon's Key system, which allows delivery drivers to unlock your front door and place parcels inside your home. Amazon sees Key and the devices that enable it as a way to develop more meaningful relationships with shoppers by streamlining the delivery experience.
There's no word yet on when Blink technology will start to show up inside Amazon products. In its blog post, Blink said there will be no change for its existing customers. Its current products and services will continue to operate as normal under Amazon ownership. Blink said it will continue selling and supporting "the same great products you know and love."
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