Amazon has acquired Blink, the home security camera company, in a $90 million deal, according to Reuters.
Amazon’s motivation for the deal, which was quietly secured last year, is thought to be a desire to own the startup’s energy-efficient chips. The chips used in the Blink devices have the potential to lower production costs and improve the battery life of gadgets, meaning the deal could possibly bring this benefit to Amazon’s Cloud Cam and the Echo speakers. As it currently stands, these gadgets need to be plugged in to work, but the Blink cameras can last years on a single pair of batteries. This fact has given Blink a leg up on the competition, whose devices usually needs to be plugged in and hence are restricted in terms of where they can be placed.
Blink started its life as a Kickstarter campaign in 2014, before presenting its first cameras to the market in 2016. However its parent company is Immedia Semiconductor, founded by a group who came out of Sand Video, now owned by Broadcom.
The move for the security cameras company also makes sense when considering another new Amazon technology: Amazon Key. This is the offering which lets delivery personnel drop off packages inside people’s houses. It doesn’t take much imagination to see how a top level security camera fits in here. Owning their chips will also allow Amazon to simplify its general manufacturing chain, and potentially reduce costs.
The Blink deal undoubtedly moves Amazon forward in the rapidly developing connected home area, where consumers have yet to declare their loyalties. Companies that can help in that regard can expect to fetch good prices, as the landgrab continues at pace.