You’ve probably got better things to do than keep track of big business and all the companies that get bought and sold on a regular basis. After all, it happens all the time. But, at InHome, we’re invested in everything that’s going on in the home alarm and smart home system markets, and that means we’ve been keeping an eye on Amazon. They sure have been busy making some groundbreaking deals and decisions the last few months.
Not sure what we’re talking about? Let us fill you in.
Amazon buys Blink
It all seemed to start with Amazon’s acquisition of Blink, a wireless security camera startup. The deal took place back in December and gives Amazon the rights to its innovative video doorbell that lets users see in real time who is at the door using their smart phone.
It seems like a reasonable investment, seeing as how Amazon started pushing the connected home devices thing back in 2014 with the Echo. Not to mention, Amazon will drop things off inside your home now, so it makes sense that doorbell cam technology would be of interest to them.
Amazon buys Ring
That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Ring came next and cost a pretty penny. Amazon acquired this company for a whopping $1 billion. Once again, it’s about the doorbell cam, although this system has features that distinguish it from others.
This all-in-one doorbell system includes an intercom and security camera that allows users to not only see who’s at the door, but also interact with them. They also have a larger home security system. Seems like a good buy. That is, as long as you have $1 billion to blow, which Amazon obviously does.
Amazon invests in Ecobee
Amazon isn’t done yet! Very recently, they have decided to invest in Ecobee. This time, it isn’t about a security camera at all. It’s about the thermostat.
Although they aren’t technically purchasing Ecobee, Amazon is investing in it with its Alexa Fund. Of course, keep in mind that they invested in Ring too. And now they own it.
So, what’s the point?
We can only imagine that the trend will continue and Amazon will keep snatching up smart home systems that are compatible with Amazon Echo, but there’s one system they won’t touch—Nest.
Why? Because it’s owned by Google.
And that’s the real rub. Amazon has also announced that it will no longer sell smart home products that are made by Nest, which is owned by Google. Can you imagine that? Something that Amazon won’t sell?!
Google purchased Nest all the way back in 2014 for a cool $3.2 billion, essentially heating up the battle for the top company in connected home systems. The feud has been growing for a while. Amazon stopped selling Chromecast devices in the past, although they seem to be selling them again, while Google removed YouTube from Amazon devices.
The next logical step is one that is sure to cause a few headaches.
Nest devices and Alexa won’t be compatible for long. Instead, you’ll have to choose between your Google devices and your Amazon devices if you want all your home systems to be compatible. That’s great if you manage to buy the right devices because they will automatically integrate with each other. It’s a nightmare if you happen to purchase the wrong system or if the system you’ve been using suddenly becomes incompatible with your other systems.
And although it makes sense that Amazon wouldn’t be interested in selling products for its competitors, it does make you wonder where it’s going to end. Amazon is expanding rapidly into a variety of industries, even the healthcare industry. Will Amazon become a marketplace for only Amazon-related items as it shuts out its competitors?
The only way we’ll learn the answers to all of our questions is to stay tuned in to all the drama. You can bet that this is only the beginning.