May 10, 2013
Amazon is reportedly moving beyond its Kindle tablet line with the development of multiple CE devices aimed to compete more directly with Apple and Google. According to people familiar with the plans, the company is developing a range of new devices including two smartphones and an audio-only streaming device. The e-commerce giant is also working on its own set-top box for streaming video content.
According to the Wall Street Journal: “One of the devices is a high-end smartphone featuring a screen that allows for three-dimensional images without glasses, these people said. Using retina-tracking technology, images on the smartphone would seem to float above the screen like a hologram and appear three-dimensional at all angles, they said. Users may be able to navigate through content using just their eyes, two of the people said.”
The company’s move into hardware development has been underway at Amazon’s Lab126 facility in Cupertino, California. According to those familiar with the plans, the efforts have been dubbed the Alphabet Projects collectively, since they are individually referred to as Project A, B, C and D.
“Though Amazon has goals of releasing some of these devices in the coming months, these people cautioned that some or all of the devices could be shelved because of performance, financial or other concerns,” explains WSJ.
Amazon-branded CE devices could provide consumers with more convenient ways to access media and electronic shopping, the company’s core business. Amazon has been expanding its streaming video offerings and making the move into original content.
“It wasn’t immediately clear what Amazon’s lineup of devices would be called or at what prices the company would sell them. However, the company has said it likes to sell its Kindle e-readers and tablets at cost and profit from the services and content people buy for the devices.”