Amazon quietly bought security camera maker Blink for US$90 million at the end of 2017, according to a report by Reuters.
Debuted in 2016, Blink security camera received great acclaim because it doesn’t require a power cable like rivals in the market. With a pair of AA batteries, the Blink camera can function up to two years anywhere at home without the need to be plugged to a power outlet.
Blink has a competitive price as well – starting at US$99. Even Netgear’s Arlo wireless camera costs more than that.
At first sight, it seems that Amazon bought the camera company for its Amazon Key service. With a smart lock installed, a deliveryman or repairman can enter the house under the surveillance of a security camera, in the absence of homeowners. Amazon launched its first wired security camera called Cloud Cam for US$119.99.
The e-commerce giant and smart home player has another reason to pay US$90 million for Blink – its low-power consumption chip.
Immedia Semiconductor, the company that owns Blink, was founded in 2008 by ex-employees of Broadcom. Blink first targeted the laptop industry and video conferencing chips, but then switched focus to make its own camera. This history led to the creation of Blink.
Amazon is very likely to use Blink’s chip technology in its current and future hardware products, including the Cloud Cam and of course Amazon Echo, which currently requires a power line connection all the time.
Also, the new no-cashier self-checkout retail store Amazon Go and its drone delivery business may also use the low-power consumption technology.
The deal could give Amazon a great advantage in the hardware market, making Amazon’s products and services difficult for rivals to compete.
Amazon has not indicated about when products utilizing Blink’s technology will launch in the market.