Merchant Innovation

Amazon Acquisition Focuses On ‘Internet Of Things’

Amazon has acquired 2lemetry, a Denver-based startup focused on software to manage smart networked devices and the Internet of Things (IoT), TechCrunch reported on Thursday (March 12).

Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. 2lemetry is a 2011 startup that reportedly had raised $9 million, including $4 million in a round two months ago that included Salesforce Ventures. The company’s customers include Honeywell, the Demeter energy group and office recycling service First Mile.

Not much else about the acquisition was disclosed either. An Amazon spokesperson would only say, “I can confirm that Amazon has acquired 2lemetry and we look forward to continuing to support 2lemetry customers.” An acquisition FAQ page added to 2lemetry’s website on Thursday said only “As you may have heard, Amazon has acquired 2lemetry. Our existing service has not changed, and with Amazon we will offer our same customer support. We still have the same name and branding as before.”

However, 2lemetry’s existing products offer hints of what Amazon may have in mind with the acquisition. One of 2lemetry’s products, 2lemetry Incoming, “enables location and proximity sensing, facial recognition, and geofencing for people, places and things.” That could combine beacons with age-and-gender-based analytics for conventional (though more advanced than usual) in-store customer tracking — which could be very useful if Amazon’s reported talks to acquire some RadioShack locations actually bear fruit.

Or the technology could be applied to warehouse situations to track either employees, equipment or product orders. It might even be modified for use with drone deliveries, if Amazon is ever able to overcome the technical and regulatory hurdles to make that a useful part of its business.

2lemetry isn’t Amazon’s first IoT play. In 2013 it introduced a cloud-based analytics platform called Kinesis for processing terabyte-per-hour data streams in real time, in what some analysts saw as an IoT entry point for the company. And at the consumer end of the spectrum, Amazon offers both conventional home-automation hardware such as smart locks and thermostats, and its Echo connected-home assistant.

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