What do you call an Amazon Echo that mistakenly records a private conversation? Grim. What do you call an Amazon Wi-Fi router that keeps all your smart home devices connected? Eero.
Jokes aside: Amazon is getting serious about routers. Amazon announced earlier today that it has agreed to buy Eero, the San Francisco-based network network Wi-Fi router manufacturer. Eero was first launched in 2015 and quickly became a gadget loved by its robust stability and ease of use – something the Amazon hardware expert Dave Limp called out in an official press release today. None of the companies have disclosed the terms of the agreement; Eero has so far increased about $ 90 million in venture capital financing.
Questions remain about Eero as a product now that the company acquired. Will it still retain the Eero name and will it still sell its security-focused Eero Plus subscription service? Will its privacy practices remain the same? It is difficult to say at this point what all this means to Eero, David to the Amazon Goliath in this particular dynamic. Amazon declined our request for an interview. Nick Weaver, co-founder and CEO of Eero, has also not responded to questions about the product's future.
But for Amazon, the Eero buyer, it is clear that it is serious that the company should round off its smart home materials and squeeze many Amazon-owned access points as it can into a person's home. In just five years, Amazon has launched its own range of smart home computers, beginning with the first Echo speaker in 201
Along the way, Amazon has also strategically bought smaller smart home companies or IoT adjoining companies. Its 2015 acquisition of Israeli chipmaker Annapurna Labs seemed to confirm that the ecommerce firm was committed to making its own chips capable of operating "home gateways, Wi-Fi routers, and network-connected storage devices." So in late 2017, Amazon bought Blink, a Massachusetts-based boot that made battery-powered smart cameras and smart door bells. And last year, it spent $ 1.1 billion on the Ring, which also makes smart home products and which Amazon had invested in earlier through its Alexa fund.
"Eero is definitely part of the overall portfolio game that Amazon does with smart home," said Mark Hung, a vice president of research firm Gartner. "It started with the Echo speaker, and then they bought Ring. Eero acts as a network background. "
Eero's router system, which relies on multiple devices located around a home rather than a centralized hub, may not be the only appeal to Amazon. (Most Eero customers have three or more Eeros in their homes.) Like most router systems, Eero also has access to a lot of information on how people use their devices.
As Eero's Weaver said in a Recode podcast in 2017, "Every Eero is connected, stops spitting out data to help us understand how our iPhone performs, how our Sonos speaker performs, how does Alexa work, and we use the aggregated data to continue improving our software. "Weaver also pointed to lacing as a major driver for Eero sales; the more media people will have access to the Internet, the more likely they are to invest in decent networking equipment. Amazon, of course, offers lots of streaming media that the company hopes to stream without hiccups. .
Amazon also creates a tremendous amount of information about its customers from various access points around the home, displays "interest-based" ads on Amazon.com, and shares data with third parties. The biggest question now is whether owner Eero will help complete the data loop for Amazon.
Amazon tells WIRED that it doesn't have" any plans to change Eero's policy at the moment. "
Google, for what it's worth, also doesn't claim to track which sites the users of their network's Wi-Fi router:" It's important that your Google Wi-Fi app and your Wi-Fi points don't track the web pages you visit or collect the content of your network traffic, say the company's policy.
Although there is a little more information about the devices in the customers' homes and how these devices perform, it may be an advantage for Amazon. Amazon already knows when shopping on Amazon or streaming from a Fire TV stick. Now, with routers added to their order of gadgets, it can create an even fuller picture of customer activity – even when you're not calling on Alexa.
Brian Barrett contributed reporting for this article.
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