Sci-Tech

Amazon further strengthens smart home play with Eero acquisition

The San Francisco company makes modern Wi-Fi routers and extenders.

Amazon’s acquisition of Wi-Fi device maker Eero could help it knit together the various devices the commerce giant has imbued with its voice recognition technology in a quest to dominate the smart home.

Eero, begun in 2014 in San Francisco, makes routers and extenders designed to cover all the rooms of a house with speedy wireless signals. The resulting wireless network allows people to connect and control locks, doorbells, thermostats and other home automation devices.

Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices and Services, said in a statement announcing the acquisition Monday that Amazon was impressed with Eero and “how quickly they invented a Wi-Fi solution that makes connected devices just work.”

Amazon didn’t say how much it’s paying for Eero. The company raised about $148 million in capital from investors, according to data from Seattle-based PitchBook.

Amazon has expanded its portfolio of connected devices through acquisitions, including Blink, which makes home security cameras, and Ring, which makes doorbells outfitted with cameras and related devices.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s Alexa voice computing technology is becoming a central point of control for the connected home, competing with Google Home and several smaller players. Amazon has put the technology into its own growing suite of connected devices, including a microwave and the Echo line of speakers. Each device has microphones to listen for voice commands.

It is also encouraging third-party manufacturers to make their devices compatible with Alexa or embed the technology in them directly.

Late last year, Amazon said more than 28,000 smart home devices from more than 4,500 brands were compatible with Alexa, and more were introduced in January at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Amazon made light of the growing range of Alexa-enabled products with a Super Bowl commercial touting rejected concepts such as a dog collar and hot tub.

 


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