Amazon has bought Ring, a smart home tech company that makes video doorbells and other security devices. The acquisition, first reported by GeekWire, gives Amazon yet another way into your house.
The terms of the agreement haven't yet been disclosed, though reports pin the acquisition price at more than $1 billion. As when it bought Twitch in 2014, Amazon is expected to keep Ring running as-is, meaning the brand and its products are sticking around. Amazon will, however, integrate Ring's technologies into other products and services where it makes sense.
"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," a Ring spokesperson said in a statement to TechRadar. "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."
Opening the door
Ring fits well into Amazon's smart home vertical, led by the Amazon Echo smart speaker line. Amazon also has a security camera, the Cloud Cam, which retails for $119.99 (about £85 / AU$150), and a service called Amazon Key. Amazon Key caused a stir when it was announced as it gives couriers access to your home to drop off packages when you're not there. It still has its detractors.
Amazon's push into our homes isn't limited to its own products and services, of course. Its Alexa assistant has crossed over to numerous third-party smart home devices, including some built by Ring. In June 2017, Ring announced that select Ring Video Doorbells and Security Cameras could be accessed by talking to an Amazon Echo Show or Amazon Fire TV.
To today's announcement, an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement:
"Ring's home security products and services have delighted customers since day one. We're excited to work with this talented team and help them in their mission to keep homes safe and secure."
Ring isn't the first smart doorbell company Amazon has purchased, either. In December, Amazon bought Blink, a startup that makes wireless video doorbells and security cameras.
With yet another video doorbell company under its belt, Google, Amazon's chief rival in the smart home space, is likely looking on with interest. The search giant recently brought smart cam company Nest back under its wing, and the two are poised to develop more ways to integrate the Google voice assistant, Google Assistant, into more products.
Which will emerge as our favorite supplier of smart home products, Amazon or Google? The answer isn't clear yet, but these two are taking the fight right to your doorstep.