Amazon is discontinuing support for its Cloud Cam security camera service and replacing it with a free Blink Mini. Cloud Cam users will be allowed to use their cameras and download footage until December 2nd. After the deadline, all recordings will be destroyed and the gear will stop working.
Cloud Cam Key Edition users will lose the option to link to smart locks as well. However, they might receive a free fourth-generation Echo to replace the functionality.
Amazon’s email to a customer, which was also posted on Reddit, stated, “As the number of Alexa smart home devices continues to grow, we are focusing efforts on Ring, Blink, and other technologies that make your home smarter and simplify your everyday routines. Therefore, we have decided to no longer continue support for Amazon Cloud Cam service and its companion apps.”
“We will continue to offer innovative smart home security solutions for our customers through Amazon’s Ring and Blink brands,” Amazon said in a statement to MacRumors. It further stated that those who are “still actively using their Cloud Cam” will receive Blink Mini cameras.
Eligibility Criteria for receiving free Blink Camera
Cloud Cam customers who have been active in the last six months will be eligible for replacement hardware. Customers will be receiving one Blink Mini for each active Cloud Cam they were using. And, one Blink Mini and Echo for each Cloud Cam Key Edition, according to Amazon smart home spokesperson Jocelyn Shaw. (Via The Verge)
Cloud Cam customers will get emailed instructions for redeeming their free Blink Mini and Echo, before the December 2nd deadline.
The Blink Mini will include a subscription of one year to Blink Subscription Plus. This subscription usually costs $10 per month or $100 per year. Many Blink features, such as instant access to movies and motion-activated recording, need a subscription — either to Plus or the $3 per month single-camera Basic plan. Cloud Cam similarly needed a paid membership for advanced capabilities, however, it did offer some free options that required payment on the Blink Mini.
The Cloud Cam series debuted in 2017 and was phased down in late 2019. The same time when Amazon purchased security camera companies Blink and Ring. Amazon is now following a well-worn pattern of corporations bricking smart home products because they no longer wish to support its ecosystem. Customers have not been left entirely without recourse as a result of the replacement. However, they will still be left with obsolete gear that they may have purchased only a few years ago.