Truth be told, it took me a while to find my old Amazon Cloud Cam at the bottom of a storage bin today after learning that Amazon is discontinuing the device.
Launched in 2017, Cloud Cam was useful in its day, but rendered largely obsolete in our house by its lack of integration with Amazon’s Ring system. We’ve used it as an extra camera to monitor a cat door on vacation, or to check in unobtrusively on a playdate in the basement, but for the most part it goes unplugged and unused.
Amazon informed Cloud Cam customers of its impending death on May 27.
“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,” the email read. “Therefore, we have decided to no longer continue support for Amazon Cloud Cam and its companion apps.”
But Amazon isn’t just ending support — it’s bricking these things.
“On December 2, 2022, you will no longer be able to use your Cloud Cam device or its companion apps,” the email added. “Until then, you will be able to download any video recordings if available. All video history will be deleted on December 2, 2022.”
Amazon acquired Blink a few months after launching Cloud Cam, and Ring not long after that. With no updates to the Cloud Cam product line in the meantime, the writing has been on the wall for a while.
With this announcement, the bonus is that Amazon is offering existing Cloud Cam owners a Blink Mini camera for free, with a complimentary one-year Blink Subscription Plus Plan.
The bummer is that the Blink and Ring platforms are not integrated, so the value to people (like me) who’ve invested in Ring devices is minimal — in other words, it’s exactly what I was getting out of my Cloud Cam at this point, so maybe it’s just about right. I’m planning to take Amazon up on the offer, because why not.
In the meantime, my Cloud Cam is plugged in and streaming video to my phone, working fine but not long for this world in an era where five years is literally a lifetime.