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Amazon Set To Acquire Home IoT Startup Blink

Weeks after revealing AWS DeepLens, a video camera integrated with deep learning capabilities, Amazon brings into its fold a consumer wireless camera vendor that connects to Alexa.

Amazon said Friday it had reached a deal to acquire Blink, a startup developing battery-powered home-automation devices, including a wireless security camera and doorbell.

With Blink, Amazon looks to become more competitive in a consumer market that's seeing a nexus with enterprise IoT products through cloud-based artificial intelligence backends.

Blink products are already compatible with Amazon's Echo home assistant, which runs the Alexa voice service powered by Lex, an AWS-hosted deep learning engine for enabling natural language functions.

[Related: AWS CEO Unleashes Several New AI, Container And Database Services, Including Amazon's First Managed Kubernetes Platform]

The deal for Blink comes a few weeks after Amazon Web Services revealed DeepLens, a wireless video camera integrated with deep learning hardware and tools. Developers will be able to build computer-vision models for that device.

Blink, based in Andover, Mass., was founded in 2009, according to Crunchbase, but came out of stealth in 2014 with a Kickstarter campaign that raised $1 million—multiple times more than the company was seeking.

The acquisition positions Amazon to be more competitive against Google parent Alphabet's Next subsidiary, which develops home automation products compatible with Google Home, the primary rival of the Echo.

Blink's first low-power, inexpensive devices hit the market in 2016. They are designed for quick installations and promise long battery life. The company was launched by Immedia Semiconductor, a developer of video and image processing chips designed for power efficiency.

"If you own one of our systems, nothing changes for now. We’ll continue to operate under the Amazon umbrella selling and supporting the same great products you know and love," read the Blink website Friday. "It’s Day 1 for us at Amazon, and we’re looking forward to seeing what we can deliver to our customers together."

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