Amazon buys smart camera and doorbell startup Blink

Amazon buys smart camera and doorbell startup Blink

Amazon’s smart home ambitions continue to expand today with the acquisition of Blink, a startup behind battery-powered connected cameras and doorbells. Blink started out with a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 and launched its promised smart camera at the beginning of 2016.

Blink’s big draw is that its cameras are supposed to last for two years with just a pair of AA batteries, which means you can easily put them around a home without having to worry about wiring. They’re also relatively inexpensive, running just $99 to $129.

Blink just announced its first smart doorbell this week

After shipping its original camera in January 2016, Blink launched an outdoor camera with night vision capabilities later in the year. This week, it introduced its third product, a connected doorbell with a built in camera, which also operates off of batteries. The company is also working on a full home security system.

While Blink’s tech isn’t necessarily that exciting — though there’s a good price and convenience to it all — the big story here is how it fits into Amazon. Amazon recently announced a delivery service that allows someone to walk into your home to drop off a package. That service requires cameras, and while Amazon already launched one of its own, it just bought several more. Connected doorbells are also becoming increasingly popular, so that’s a useful addition to Amazon’s lineup.

Amazon confirmed the acquisition in an email to The Verge, saying, “As one of [Blink’s] distributors, we already know customers love their home security cameras and monitoring systems. We’re excited to welcome their team and invent together on behalf of customers.”

For the time being, all of these products remain under the Blink brand and aren’t integrated with Amazon’s many services (though they do support Alexa), which their possible integration with the home delivery system is just speculation for the time being. (Blink says, “If you own one of our systems, nothing changes for now,” and that it’ll continue “selling and supporting” the same products.) But it’s easy to see how this will all eventually fit into Amazon’s delivery and smart home story.


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