Amazon Buys Ring, Challenges Google for Home Video Security
by Nicole Speciale
Second to its acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon just made a huge business move (again). Last week, Amazon bought Ring, a provider of “smart” home security devices for U.S. $1.1 billion, and this action is sure to challenge Google.
Ring allows users to stream live audio and video footage from security cameras to smartphones. This blog provides an overview of how Amazon is quickly leveling up to Google Nest in the market of home security.
A Rapidly Growing Market
Video-based home security is a rapidly growing market. Amazon’s move to buy Ring’s smart doorbell reinforces the fact that home monitoring methods are growing to meet security demands. Additionally, large enterprises want in on the technologies that are changing and improving our relationships with our homes.
Amazon certainly seems to be buying its way into this market, given its history of home security tech acquisitions. Now, between Blink, Alexa, and Ring, Amazon has a plethora of members in its tech and home security family. After several years under Alphabet, Nest will now be rejoining Google to take on their market competitors. This means we will likely see accelerated innovation and product advancements in video-based home security, and large companies like Amazon and Google will be competing for consumer interest.
Ring Expands the Amazon Portfolio
Ring was originally named DoorBot, and yet its rejection from the ABC show Shark Tank in 2013 did not stop Amazon from recognizing the product’s potential. Now, Ring is a valuable asset to Amazon’s home security offerings and Alexa technology. With the addition of Ring, Amazon now has a full-fledged product family to compete aggressively with Google.
Home automation and safety are creating ubiquitous in-home networks that allow users to gain a sense of control over their personal space. Ring offers two-way-talk, which adds a valued real-time communication element. The doorbell-camera combo is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa. In fact, the Alexa Fund is responsible for building Amazon’s relationship with the “smart” doorbell provider.
Google Responds with Hello
The popularity and simplicity of the Ring Video Doorbell forced Google to respond with the Hello Video Doorbell. Google is now aggressively advertising this new offering on television. It also has upped its game in retail, with special kiosks at retailers, such as Best Buy. We would also note that Google’s high end 4K offerings have the potential for other applications besides home security.
The Battle for Home Video
While Google still has the most complete portfolio, Amazon, with the Ring deal, will challenge Google on the home security front. Google still has the edge with its 4K indoor and outdoor security camera offerings known as Nest Cam IQ, but Ring holds high appeal with its multiple models for both doorbells and outdoor cameras.
The competition between Amazon and Google is heating up, and not only because they are both competing in the same market. Amazon will reportedly no longer be distributing Nest products. It is possible that, fearing competition, Amazon will cut ties with other smart home monitoring providers as well to bring more focus to their own offerings.
There are a large number of IP video security providers. While Google and Amazon have focused on the home, the enterprise is the next frontier. Developing.