Amazon Purchases Blink

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The news today is that Blink has been purchased by Amazon. Blink, the builder behind the popular connected Wi-Fi home security cameras bearing their name, was started in 2014 after a successful crowdfunding campaign that raised over $1 million for its products. The purchase of Blink adds additional connected devices to Amazon’s growing stable of smart-home devices, and if you’re already part of that ecosystem, you will likely start seeing tighter integrations in the near future.

The purchase of Blink — including the new video doorbell product announced earlier this week — may offer some interesting possibilities in light of the new Amazon Key service that was also recently announced. The Amazon Key service permits Amazon’s delivery folks to place packages directly inside of your home instead of leaving them outside where they could be nabbed by criminals. While that service has had mixed reviews and some valid concerns surrounding privacy and security, combining the Amazon Key service with a tightly integrated video doorbell where you can see your packages being delivered by the proper person could alleviate some fears regarding security.

On the other hand, if you were not already part of the Amazon ecosystem, the purchase of Blink probably raises some concerns regarding future compatibility. While Blink posted on their website that “nothing changes for now,” users should keep in mind that Blink just discontinued support for the SmartThings hub only a few days ago. That news would have likely garnered much more attention if it had occurred after the Amazon announcement, so the timing of the announcement was almost certainly intentional. While that doesn’t mean that the two announcements are connected, it certainly must cause a raised eyebrow from anyone integrating a Blink camera into any other system that could face a similar fate. Additionally, Amazon has previously had spats with competitors such as Google — most recently culminating in Google threatening to discontinue supporting YouTube on the popular Amazon Fire Stick, a competitor to Google’s Chromecast which Amazon has removed from their store. Allegedly, the Chromecast will reappear in the Amazon store as part of the resolution of the Google-Amazon spat, but the fact remains that being too tightly integrated into one of these closed ecosystems has both its advantages and disadvantages.