You may have no interest in “smart” locks, lights, doorbells and the like now. But you will. Trust us.
This week Amazon forked over an estimated $1 billion-plus to buy the scrappy maker of video doorbells, Ring. This isn’t, in our view, because Amazon believes its future lies in putting smart doorbells on every home in America. Instead, we see it as just another way the e-tailer intends to get a tighter grip on your home.
Today, you might think of the Amazon Echo connected speaker as a simple device that plays music on command, tells you the weather and turns on and off your lights, and that’s about it.
In the next years, Alexa turns into “your bestie,” says James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research. “Your confidante running your life.”
The intelligence gleaned from the Ring doorbell camera could enable Alexa to know “hundreds” of things about the home family life that would make the speaker more useful, he says.
For instance, the father upstairs waiting for the high-school age son to get home by midnight could ask Alexa if Brian had arrived yet, and the parent at work could check with Alexa to see if the fifth-grader had walked through the front door, as was hoped.
“It starts with a camera ingesting the data and applying the intelligence to Amazon,” says McQuivey.
Ring isn’t Amazon’s first doorbell purchase. It also snapped up lesser known security camera maker Blink, which is slated to release its answer to Ring later this year. And McQuivey says there will be more.