February 13th news, according to foreign media reports, Amazon recently shot in the smart home market, just a few days ago announced the acquisition of the home WiFi router startup Eero, the latter developed a networked router can connect various devices within the family . So what is the value of this company for Amazon, and what is Amazon's expectation?
Eero was one of the first companies to offer consumers a mesh network (Mesh WiFi) & ldquo; system, which is usually very expensive and usually only used by organizations with large office space. The goal of Mesh WiFi systems such as Eero is to provide full WiFi speed throughout the home, even in areas that are not possible with mainstream standard WiFi routers.
Eero was founded in 2014, and before the major network companies released their Mesh WiFi devices, the startup released its first Mesh WiFi system in 2016. Eero by Nikki · Nick Weaver (CEO), Nate · Nate Hardison (CTO) and Amos · Amos Stvich (VP of Engineering) Created together, we are committed to providing consumers with better WiFi solutions.
First launched Mesh WiFi system
When Eero was founded, only a few large network companies released Mesh WiFi systems for the consumer market. The first generation of the Eero Mesh WiFi system was released in 2016, and the performance of the second-generation Eero device released in 2017 has been greatly improved. In addition, a new device called “Lighthouse” can be plugged directly into the power outlet. In addition to the second-generation Eero devices, the company also launched the Eero Plus subscription service, which offers a variety of Internet-based features and services such as threat detection, VPN and password managers.
According to data released by PitchBook, a Silicon Valley global data research organization, Eero initially received $2 million in seed funding. As of December 2017, the company has raised $148 million in funding. Eero currently has 130 employees.
Mesh WiFi systems have many advantages over traditional router and expander settings. Mesh WiFi systems share the same core philosophy as traditional WiFi routers and WiFi extenders: providing WiFi connectivity to the entire home, while some homes are not fully covered by a single WiFi router.
Unlike traditional WiFi routers and extenders, the Mesh WiFi system supports the use of multiple satellite devices in a single home. Eero offers faster internet speeds per satellite device than traditional expander settings. Moreover, in the ideal case, due to the number of satellite devices in the home, the WiFi signal should be stronger.
In addition, the Mesh WiFi system provides additional features not available with traditional routers and expanders. For example, Mesh WiFi systems like Eero are easier to set up than traditional routers and extenders. Eero's setup is very simple, all you have to do is install the Eero app on your mobile device and follow the setup instructions.
The setup instructions are also simple: for the main Eero router, simply plug in the power and connect it with an Ethernet cable. When the user enters the Mesh WiFi name and password, the Eero system and application can automate the rest of the work. As for adding satellite devices, simply plug them into the power source and tell the app that you want to install a new Eero device.
Since then, Eero satellite devices and applications have done most of the work of connecting other Eero devices to form a Mesh WiFi system. The entire setup process is very simple and fairly fast, which is usually not comparable to the traditional router and extender setup process.
Simple and user-friendly
Anyone who has used a traditional WiFi extender knows that when it is too far away from the main WiFi router, it is sometimes necessary to manually switch the device to the expander's own WiFi network. This is mainly because the WiFi expander has its own network name, which is slightly different from the main WiFi network name. For example, the network name of the expander might be the primary network name with the "EXT" tag to indicate that it is the WiFi network of the expander.
On the other hand, Mesh WiFi systems like Eero can help users' devices automatically switch to the nearest Eero, and each Eero provides the same WiFi network name.
Eero also automatically connects the user's device to the appropriate WiFi band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) as needed. If the user equipment requires a better range coverage, Eero will automatically connect these devices to the farther 2.4 GHz band. If it is close enough to the Eero router, it will connect the device to the 5 GHz band, which provides faster speeds but a range less than the 2.4 GHz band.
To be fair, some recently released expanders offer similar options as described above to keep users logged into the name and band of the primary WiFi network, making switching easier and more automated. At the same time, the user may need to enter the expander settings to enable this feature, which can be a bit complicated for many users.
Eero devices can be kept up to date automatically, and many traditional WiFi routers often require manual updates and are not easy to manage. The Eero device automatically downloads and installs updates without affecting the user's daily WiFi usage. Today, some traditional routers have been similar or even made, making it easier to update, but many older models still need to access settings through a web browser, a process that is much more complicated than using Eero's applications. WiFi router updates are required for security and vulnerability fixes, new features, and performance improvements.
Compared to the applications of most large network companies, Eero's applications are designed to be better and easier to use. For example, Netgear's Orbi Mesh system application is not as intuitive as Eero's application.
In addition, Mesh WiFi systems like Eero typically have a more pleasing and less aggressive design than some high-end traditional WiFi routers. High-end traditional WiFi routers are often designed with aggressive design and are almost covered by antennas.
Eero also launched a subscription service called Eero Plus that provides additional, Internet-based features. The service, which costs $99 a year, has a threat scan feature that checks websites for known threats and blocks users from accessing websites that contain threats. Eero Plus also tags websites that contain violent, illegal or adult content and allows users to manage which devices can access those devices and which devices are not. It can easily prevent children from accessing banned websites. In addition, Eero Plus also features ad blocking.
Amazon has a variety of plans
Compared to traditional WiFi routers, Eero's Mesh WiFi system has many advantages, while giving Amazon another way to enter the consumer's home, with its Echo, Fire TV, Key home delivery service and other products to form a stronger ecosystem. The competition in the Mesh WiFi field is not intense. In addition to Eero, the biggest competitors are Netkit and Google Wi-Fi. In fact, one possible reason for Amazon's acquisition of Eero is to stay ahead of Google, which offers Google Home and Nest products the most competitive in the connected home space. Samsung and Belkin subsidiary Linksys also produce this product.
So how does Amazon treat Eero? It may have multiple plans.
The easiest way is to continue to operate an independent subsidiary under the Eero brand and allow the team to continue to roll out new products. Amazon acquired the smart doorbell starter Ring last year, which is still operating under this name. But now, Ring offers more than just smart doorbell products. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2019) in 2019, the company introduced a complete home security system and introduced new devices that work together. Eero can become another sub-brand of Amazon, just like Ring.
Amazon can also embed Eero's technology in its Echo device. The high-end Echo can double as a Wi-Fi hotspot, providing users with greater coverage, including every room in the home. A reliable Wi-Fi network is critical to Amazon's home strategy. If you don't have a good network access service, its Fire TV will not get 4K HDR content, and its Ring product will also rely on a stable and good Internet to function properly. If Amazon introduces a product similar to a home robot, then no matter where it roams, it also needs to be connected.
Finally, having a home Wi-Fi system may help Amon to ensure that all its other products and services run as efficiently as possible. It may also collect data about the devices in the user's home. Amazon can also use Eero to learn more about how people use the Internet at home.
Using Google Wi-Fi as an example, Google claims that the service does not track the websites that users browse, nor does it track users’ online activity. Instead, it collects data such as Wi-Fi channels, signal strength, and device type, which are related to optimizing WiFi performance. In addition, it helps Google know if you are using Google products like Google Search or Gmail.
If Amazon collects device information like Google, in theory it can know all the devices that connect to the Internet at home. It will know that you have two iPhones, three iPads, one Fire TV and two Amazon Echos. When a home appliance is connected to the Internet, it knows you have a washing machine, a dryer and a networked refrigerator. Amazon and its partners are already developing products like smart microwave ovens that know when your food is running out so you can order more.
The more Amazon knows about what people already have, the more efficient it is to recommend and sell products through Amazon.com, and this is still Amazon's largest business.