According to recent reports from Reuters and a number of other sources, Amazon appears to be readying for a significant expansion of its hardware development labs, and quite possibly testing a number of different home gadgets. As such, the web is currently abuzz with speculation about what the company could potentially be working on.
The information comes from two places: First and foremost, a document surfaced earlier today that summarizes recent California tax credits, and it shows that Amazon is investing $55 million into a place called A2Z Development Centers in Sunnyvale and Cupertino in exchange for $1.2 million in tax breaks from the state. A2Z Development Centers are home to Amazon’s hardware research and development division, which is somewhat telling.
On top of that, Reuters has recently spoken with two unnamed sources who claim to have inside knowledge of what Amazon is currently developing. According to one of these individuals, Amazon is currently testing a simple Wi-Fi-connected device that could be placed in the kitchen or a closet, allowing customers to order products they need by pressing a physical button. The other insider suggested that Amazon’s Lab126 is also interested in wearable devices. That being said, however, both sources also stressed that such devices may never actually come to market.
It’s all speculation at this point, but if Amazon does indeed produce some kind of smart home device in the next few months, we won’t be surprised. Doing so could help the company open up a new front in its war against Google and Apple, companies who have already invested heavily in connected home tech. One thing is for certain though — if the Amazon hopes to make a splash in the Internet of Things space, it’ll need to bring something bigger than a physical “buy” button to the table.
Thoughts? Sound off in the comments below.