Amazon is a massive operation, but one of the most interesting parts of the company is Lab126, a top-secret division focused on creating new gadgets to sell straight to its customers. Lab126 developed the popular Kindle lineup along with the less popular Fire Phone, and a new report from Reuters offers a glimpse at the group’s plans for future wearable and smart home devices.
According to one anonymous insider the retail giant is “interested” in wearable technology. There’s no word on what form it might take, though we’re guessing that like everything Amazon makes the device would be designed to help you buy more stuff from Amazon. A second source says the company is experimenting with a simple Wi-Fi gadget that could be placed around the home and help you order essentials like detergent by simply pressing a button.
It’s an interesting idea, and a clever solution to the biggest problem facing the dream of an automated home. Despite the advantages of a smart appliance over the regular type most people probably aren’t interested in buying a new fridge just for the technology it might offer. By pushing a small Wi-Fi device instead Amazon could turn your dumb appliance into a slightly smarter one for cheap or even for free.
Both Reuters sources note that nothing in testing at Lab126 is official, and there’s no guarantee anything being developed will ever hit the market. Even so, Amazon reportedly plans to boost the division’s numbers from 3,000 employees last year to 3,757 by 2019, so clearly the company has high expectations from its top-secret team.