Monday in CE: Turns Out Amazon's $90M 'Blink' Acquisition is Actually a Huge Deal
Amazon's $90 million bet to acquire Blink home security is starting to show its true colors as the start-up camera maker begins to grow.
Original speculation plotted Blink's ultra-efficient cameras to be pivotal in the Amazon Key program, a way for couriers to place Amazon deliveries inside of a home. However, it appears that Blink is so good at being a security camera that Amazon might have purchased the parent company, Immedia Semiconductor, in attempts to make something much bigger than home security.
As it stands, Blink comes equipped with a chipset so energy-conscious that it can run two years on a pair of AA batteries. Paired with low manufacturing costs, this gives Amazon a lot of wiggle room with future plans not just for cameras but toward all their products. Think for a minute what Amazon could do with all-day running electronics. Cloud cameras and Echo speakers could become genuinely portable and efficient and make the $90 million investment seem very profitable.
It would also provide a bigger barrier for copy-cats trying to use Amazon's proprietary technology.
For parent company Immedia Semiconductor, this was also a blessing in disguise. In 2004, their original design aimed at laptop makers, offering an ultra-efficient chip for decoding video conferencing. The plan fell through and the about-face took hold.
By 2016, Blink security cameras had hit the market with the added benefit of not needing a power cable. And because they were making their own product, "we don’t have to sell a hundred million” chips said a co-founder to Reuters.
“Battery life is a big issue in connected devices,” said Scott Jacobson, a former Amazon devices manager and now managing director of Madrona Venture Group. “Always-on cameras that last for months and don’t require a wired connection or an electrician to install could be game-changing.”
Interestingly, there has been no mention of how this might fit into their Amazon Go plan.
There is one final push for leaked information just days before we get Samsung's official release of the Galaxy S9 at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. And with good reason too. Samsung is probably the most easily identified Android phone. They have subjectively passed Google in popularity and objectively passed Google in terms of sheer product sold.
But this new leak doesn't really leak as much as it does confirm.
German site WinFuture has provided a ton of official looking photography of the new phone and it basically puts any rumors to rest. The bezels are small, the fingerprint is finally in the right location, and the headphone jack is intact. Promotional material shows that the single lens will feature a variable-aperture system, shifting from f/2.4 to f/1.5 as needed. Only the S9 will sport a dual lens. Bottom-firing speakers are complemented by an earpiece speaker and rumors suggest that the front camera will copy Apple's Animoji.
Look for more information when Samsung makes its official announcement in a few days.