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Wyze Scales to Support Millions of Connected Home Devices Using AWS Services

2021

Since its launch in 2017, Wyze Labs (Wyze), a fast-growing technology company, has used Amazon Web Services (AWS) to bring multiple connected home products to millions of consumers. Wyze was able to sustain and support its rapid growth by building its technology platform using AWS services that could elastically scale to support millions of devices, trillions of messages, and petabytes of data. Building on AWS enabled Wyze to quickly evolve its product offerings from smart cameras to an entire suite of connected home products that make technology more accessible.

In addition to the multiple AWS services it uses for compute, storage, and database solutions, Wyze also uses AWS IoT Core and Amazon Kinesis Video Streams to power its products. On AWS IoT Core, Wyze can scale to support millions of devices that securely connect to each other and reliably deliver billions of messages. On Amazon Kinesis Video Streams, Wyze uses the managed media streaming and storage capabilities to quickly add new features and services to its suite of camera products. Additionally, the on-demand pricing model of AWS services helps Wyze maintain a competitive price point for its products as it scales. “We quickly saw a lot of success with the camera, and the ramp-up has been exceptionally fast,” says Frederik Delacourt, senior director of technology at Wyze. “The fact that AWS offers a cost structure with per-usage costs helps us a lot.”

Software & Internet industry
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On AWS we were able to reduce our time line by 6 months and engineering costs by a factor of two because the infrastructure, the scalability, the performance, and the system were already there for us.”

Keith Ho
Senior Principal Architect, Wyze

Launching a Scalable Startup

Wyze is no stranger to the benefits of AWS, considering that its founding members worked at Amazon before they launched Wyze. From the beginning, the startup was focused on keeping the costs low for customers while also making technology choices that would enable rapid company growth. With a small team, it was also important for Wyze to focus its resources on building differentiated products and not on operating its technology. AWS IoT Core offered a managed infrastructure that Wyze could use to securely connect its products with other smart home devices. And Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) provided a durable and secure data storage solution to manage petabytes of customer data. By building its technology platform on the foundation of these services, Wyze could support its rapidly growing device numbers without needing to spend time and resources on managing the underlying technology infrastructure.
 
With the on-demand pricing model, Wyze benefitted from the cost savings that come with incremental use of AWS services. As the company expanded its product portfolio and added new capabilities, it was also able to continually improve its per-unit consumption cost. “Each Wyze device has a continually growing envelope of features. And each time we grow the envelope, we are potentially increasing costs without having extra revenue to offset them,” Delacourt explains. “We had to be extremely careful to match the cost aspect with the multiplier—the number of devices that would be impacted. And overall, we’ve been successful at matching those dimensions and not running over budget.”

Reducing Time to Market for Premium Live-Streaming Video

To keep pace with the rapidly evolving connected home market, Wyze needed to launch new products quickly. This required a technology platform that offered the flexibility to rapidly iterate. This need was especially pronounced for products with complex media streaming capabilities, such as the Wyze indoor and outdoor cams and Wyze video doorbells. Wyze chose to build its media streaming platform on Amazon Kinesis Video Streams, which enabled the company to significantly reduce the time and effort to build and operate a media streaming platform for ingesting, storing, and processing media for millions of cameras. For example, Wyze used Amazon Kinesis Video Streams to quickly build and launch Cam Plus, a service that enables Wyze cameras to use advanced features such as continuous event recording and motion-triggered alerts. Dongsheng Song, cofounder and chief product officer at Wyze, notes that while Wyze could have built features like continuous recording and video scrubbing on its own, the learning curve would have been steeper and the time to market longer. “Amazon Kinesis Video Streams developed a toolbox that supported all those features virtually right away,” Song explains. “This enabled us to create the Cam Plus service extremely quickly.”

In another instance, Wyze uses Amazon Kinesis Video Streams with WebRTC—a managed capability that uses an open technology specification to enable real-time communication (RTC) across IoT devices, web, and mobile applications—to improve the quality of live video streaming and enable better connectivity between its camera products and smart assistants, such as Alexa. With this capability, Wyze was able to accelerate time to market for new Wyze features by 50 percent. Keith Ho, senior principal architect at Wyze, explains, “On AWS we were able to reduce our time line by 6 months and engineering costs by a factor of two because the infrastructure, the scalability, the performance, and the system were already there for us.”

Looking Ahead on AWS

Wyze continues to use AWS to rapidly innovate and bring multiple connected home products to consumers. As Wyze expands its connected home innovations—including the Wyze Band, which enables customers to track their daily activities and connected home features from their wrists—the company values the ability of its AWS-powered infrastructure to easily integrate products and services and enable seamless connected home experiences for consumers.

In 2020 alone, Wyze announced multiple new products, including Wyze sprinklers, robot vacuums, and thermostats. It has maintained this rapid pace of innovation by continually using new AWS offerings to build and improve its suite of connected home products. For example, the company plans to further strengthen its product security by using AWS IoT Device Defender—a security management service for IoT devices that continuously audits IoT configurations against a set of predefined security best practices. “AWS constantly keeps us up to date with the road map and introduces us to new services,” Ho says. “That gives us a really great advantage to scale and predict how we can better serve our customers.”

Though it’s a young company with a relatively small team, Wyze has achieved monumental growth in a short time frame. Its use of AWS has enabled Wyze to focus on building game-changing products, differentiating features, and maintaining relationships with millions of its customers instead of managing its technology infrastructure and building commodity features. Song notes that AWS has supported innovation at every step. “AWS never asks, ‘Why are you trying to do that?’ It’s always, ‘How are we going to achieve your use cases? How are we going to move forward on that?’”

About Wyze

Founded by former Amazon employees, Wyze is a smart home technology company based in Kirkland, Washington. In 2017, Wyze launched its first product—the Wyze Cam, an affordable smart home camera. Today Wyze offers a growing system of smart home devices.

Benefits of AWS

  • Scaled to sell seven million smart cameras in less than 3 years
  • Reduced development time for new features by 50%
  • Securely stores video data from millions of devices
  • Enables continuous-motion video recording and streaming
  • Enables bidirectional communication with cameras
  • Facilitates security compliance


AWS Services Used

Amazon Kinesis Video Streams

Amazon Kinesis Video Streams makes it easy to securely stream video from connected devices to AWS for analytics, machine learning (ML), playback, and other processing.

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AWS IoT Core

AWS IoT Core lets you connect IoT devices to the AWS cloud without the need to provision or manage servers.

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Amazon Simple Storage Service

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.

Learn more »


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