March 24, 2018

Amazon reportedly paid around $90 million for security camera maker Blink

15 February 2018, 07:02 | Marlene Myers

Amazon views its in-house devices as key to deepening its relationship with shoppers

Amazon buys Blink Blink security cameras energy-efficient chips Amazon Cloud Cam security camera market Immedia Semiconductor Amazon Echo GoPro Digital Video chips smart-home technology, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced that it had acquired Blink late previous year for $90 million.

"These days, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to develop a custom AI chip with all of the open-market options out there, from training solutions from Nvidia and AMD to inference solutions from Qualcomm, ARM and Intel", Moorhead said. The camera maker announced its takeover by Amazon with scant details in a December 21 blog post. Although these devices already use local processing to listen for the "Alexa" wake word, they still send the full voice command up to Amazon's servers for interpretation.

The company also acquired blink, a security camera manufacturer in December a year ago for an undisclosed sum.

Blink's parent company, Immedia Semiconductor, was founded in MA by a team with a wealth of experience in the chip industry. CEO Peter Besen as well as two co-founders from Sand Video, which designed chips back in the early 2000s that decoded an improved video standard. It's not like Amazon can't add the Blink security camera to its Amazon Key program. Some devices, like Philips Hue lights, can operate without an internet connection (once they have been initially set up), so in theory an Echo device could interact with them using its own processor and connection to your Wi-Fi network, speeding things up. Currently, Amazon is also in the process of hiring chip engineers for Amazon Web Services, which shows that the company may be introducing its own proprietary chips for that department.

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It's impossible to guess when this AI chip will be available to manufacturers, but considering Amazon just refreshed its Echo products, I wouldn't expect it anytime soon. Amazon's wired Cloud Cam launched at US$119.99, while Netgear Inc's wire-free Arlo cost more still.

As Blink's sales rose on Amazon's website, the retailer took notice, sources said, leading to talks with the camera maker about a deal.

In order to get the feature to work, you first need to obviously own a Vizio television that supports Alexa integration.

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