Alongside announcements for the new Kindle Paperwhite and a bundle deal for physical books and ebooks, Amazon has opened up a new storefront that has nothing to do with reading. Today, the company launched the Home Automation section, dedicated to products that manage lights, heating, or other basic domestic functions either automatically or through the web. Some of the products are relatively familiar devices, like the Nest Learning Thermostat or Dropcam's user-friendly security cameras, but the category encompasses a bevy of things like smart locks, remotely controlled light bulbs, and even Wi-Fi-enabled Blu-ray players.
Part of the goal is obviously just creating a unified hub for a growing category of products, but Amazon seems to recognize that it's also naming a new market, to some extent — despite the success of individual products, "home automation" isn't something most people are terribly familiar with. While other departments may offer decorating guides or gift suggestions, Home Automation's front page includes a simple explanation of the category and its many subsets. Likewise, the site is currently promoting bundles that will get buyers started in a specific area, like security or energy management.