Ding dong! Amazon buys Ring for one billion dollars

Monday, 5 March, 2018

Smart home tech is hotting up as Amazon has acquired the doorbell camera firm Ring for $1 billion.

The Ring is a doorbell-based camera that you can remotely control from your phone. See who’s at the door and even let them in and out, even when you’re out at work or even overseas.

That means no more sodden Amazon packages dumped by delivery drivers and rotting in your back garden, but it’s also a key security measure which will help people with difficulties walking to keep control of who’s knocking at their door.

Work smart, not hard

This massive buyout is part of Amazon’s strategy of becoming a significant player in the lucrative smart home security market. It already has the Amazon Key in development. And the deal comes just two months after Amazon bought smart camera and doorbell manufacturer Blink.

Amazon Key is the company’s new in-home delivery service, exclusive to paid Prime members. The system allows a courier or delivery driver access to your home enabling them to leave packages safely inside.

The Amazon Key-In-Home-Kit comes with a cloud-based Amazon camera and a smart door lock. Amazon said that eventually the Key will include other in-home services such as house cleaning and pet sitters.

The purchase of Ring and Blink means Amazon will now have a significant portfolio of internet-connected indoor and outdoor cameras, video doorbells and battery-powered smart security cameras.

Voice-activated everything

While Amazon will not be able to include ‘smart windows’ and other security sensors, experts believe the firm will be able to exploit the technical expertise Ring and Blink brings, to develop devices for part of a future home security system bundle with Echo at its heart.

Amazon is also reportedly interested in purchasing the smart lock-maker August.

For Amazon’s competitors like Google and ADT these moves raise the prospect of a price war.

ADT and Google-owned Nest bundles for home security are expensive and given Amazon’s history in undercutting competitors it is highly likely they will adopt a price-sensitive approach. And Amazon will be able to make significant cost-saving measures such as greater efficiencies in delivery times.

Not only are Amazon tapping into a potentially lucrative market, home security systems will be of huge value collecting even more data on their customers.

Echo smart speakers already collect vast amounts of data but including cameras and sensors will give Amazon even greater data depth for marketing purposes.

Tim Bamford author picture


Tim is a veteran freelance journalist writing extensively on internet news and cybersecurity.