Continuing its foray into connected home security systems, Amazon has acquired smart doorbell manufacturer Ring, the retail giant confirmed on Tuesday (Feb. 27).
“Ring’s home security products and services have delighted customers since day one. We’re excited to work with this talented team,” said an Amazon spokesperson, confirming the deal – reports CNBC.
While, officially, the financial arrangement for the acquisition has not yet found its way into public domain, Reuters reports that the deal was for more than $1 billion.
“JUST IN: Amazon has agreed to acquire http://Ring.com for more than $1 billion – source $AMZN,” read the Tweet from Reuters Tech News.
— Reuters Tech News (@ReutersTech) February 27, 2018
“Ring is committed to our mission to reduce crime in neighborhoods by providing effective yet affordable home security tools to our neighbors that make a positive impact on our homes, our communities, and the world,” said a Ring spokesperson in a statement.
“We’ll be able to achieve even more by partnering with an inventive, customer-centric company like Amazon,”. “We look forward to being a part of the Amazon team as we work toward our vision for safer neighborhoods,” he added.
Just a couple of months ago, Amazon acquired the 2016 start-up Blink – manufacturers of wireless video security cameras and monitoring systems, as well as a new video doorbell it announced last December – due for release sometime this year.
“We’re excited to announce that Blink has been acquired by Amazon! Since launching in early 2016, we’ve been thrilled by your response to our ultra-affordable, truly wire-free video home security cameras and monitoring systems,” Blink announced the takeover on its website, at the time.
“If you own one of our systems, nothing changes for now. We’ll continue to operate under the Amazon umbrella selling and supporting the same great products you know and love. It’s Day 1 for us at Amazon, and we’re looking forward to seeing what we can deliver to our customers together,” the announcement further read.
In an arrangement similar to the one with Blink, Twitch or Zappos – Amazon is expected to allow its newest company to continue operations independently under the Amazon umbrella.
This is not the first time, though, that Amazon is dealing with the Santa Monica, California- based video doorbell maker, having previously invested an undisclosed amount in Ring via the Amazon Alexa fund, which exclusively finances start-ups to facilitate the integration of the Alexa technology with their products.
In a September 2017 interview with CNBC, Ring CEO Jamie Siminoff used the “nuclear power” analogy to describe Amazon, saying that the retail behemoth had the potential to annihilate a business as effectively as it could help establish it.
“To say Amazon will not compete with you is lunacy because they compete with everybody,” Siminoff said. “They’re like nuclear power. They are very, very powerful and you can get amazing, clean energy from them but there’s also the possibility of getting human radiation if you’re not careful.”
Luke Schoenfelder, CEO of Latch – a New York City-based start-up that specializes in smart locks – noted that the acquisition would give Amazon a firmer foothold in the home security arena, enabling it to compete with companies like Comcast, ADT, and Alarm.com.
“Amazon has amazing engineering teams and huge economies of scale on the cloud side. And now you pair that with these low-cost cameras and security hardware and you throw it at companies like ADT and Alarm.com who are not traditional technology companies — it makes for a pretty crazy market,” said the Latch CEO.
Amazon’s increasing foray into the home security ecosystem is likely to raise some hackles in the Google camp as well, what with the tech giant on the verge of shipping out its $229 Nest Hello smart doorbell by way of its Nest unit, which currently specializes in smarthome thermostats.
A Forrester Research analyst, James McQuivey, looks at Amazon’s latest acquisition as the company’s endeavour to enhance the intelligence capabilities of its home security products, like incorporating face recognition software to identify visitors at your front door, or any door for that matter, as long as you have one of the company’s security systems installed on that door.
“I think it’s about going to the next level and having Alexa say, ‘James, your fifth grader just walked in, and I locked the door behind them,’” he said. “It’s where these technologies have to go.”
The Amazon Key and the Amazon Cloud Cam, launched last year, are fine examples of how the company is incorporating more and more technology to boost its core business of online retailing by way of providing additional security to customers.
The virtual Key allows users to unlock their front doors and monitor their Amazon deliveries, even in their absence, as the delivery guy enters the home, delivers the package and leaves, after which the Key lets the user secure the door again.
Priced at $250, the Amazon Key Kit comes with an Amazon Cloud Cam – a 1080p full HD, night vision indoor security camera as well as a compatible smart lock and an app.
Founded in 2012 by Jamie Siminoff, Ring – which was then called DoorBot – manufactures a whole range of Wi-Fi-enabled home security products, including the Ring Video Doorbell that makes it possible for users to remotely monitor and operate their front door, back door, and even their garage door.
The company’s cheapest doorbell is priced at $179, with a $30 a year or $3 a month charge, should the user decide to use the company’s video recording services.
Here’s a list of Ring’s products and their price tags.
- Ring Video Doorbell ($179)
- Ring Video Doorbell 2 ($199)
- Ring Stick Up Cam ($179)
- Ring Floodlight Cam ($249)
- Ring Chime ($29)
- Ring Chime Pro ($49)
- Ring Solar Panel ($49)
- Ring Solar Security Sign ($49)