Turns out Amazon’s getting into the doorbell business. In a big way. In one of their largest ever acquisitions, last week Amazon announced they’ll be buying start-up smart doorbell maker Ring. You know, for a lazy billion dollars or so. At first it seems pretty strange right. I mean, up until you heard about it, did you ever think that doorbells could mean big business? And even if you did, which you didn’t, but even IF you did, what the hell has that got to with Amazon and why are they throwing so much cash at it?
Well get ready, cause this acquisition is about to change… everything. OK maybe not everything, but definitely something. A little bit.
Ok, so first, what is Ring?
It’s a “smart” doorbell and it works like this. A visitor arrives at your home and presses the doorbell button. With me so far? The doorbell, upon having its button pressed makes a noise to alert you that there’s someone there. I know right, classic doorbell move. But oh know, you’re not home…..
For all other doorbells, the story ends here. The Jehovah’s Witnesses dejectedly move on to the next household and you remain oblivious to the New World Translations of the Holy Scriptures. But not Ring. Ring proceeds to video call your phone. You answer and can see Brother Michael and Brother Jeremiah standing on your front porch. More importantly Ring lets you communicate with these two young fellows in a two way dialogue.
That’s not all. Ring also provides surveillance features. Install a Ring device at your front door and should any movement be detected, it switches its camera on and records the surroundings, uploading the footage to the cloud and sending it to your phone. Live.
Ring + Amazon Key is the Key
A little while ago, Amazon launched a product called “Amazon Key”. It’s essentially a smart keyless lock for your home, with some of the same surveillance features of Ring. Amazon wants you installing Amazon Key on your front door so it can unlock your door remotely and allow delivery drivers to put your Amazon bought packages inside your house. Rather than leaving them on the porch. Creepy no?
Well a lot people seem to think the same thing. So for those that do, Ring is the perfect compromise. Amazon packages get delivered and put on your doorstep. They remain there until you get home. All the while Ring is waiting, watching. Ready to switch on its camera and alert you to the slightest of movements…. Unagi.
Amazon has already changed the way many of us shop. Now with Ring, it’ll change the way we…. You know what, I don’t know what it will change. It’s all a little bit unsettling. But it’s a billion dollars. For a freaking doorbell. I had to write about it.
That’s 5 minutes. Hope it helped.