Amazon could be the next big tech company to get into augmented reality, as the company is hiring for a “new-to-the-world smart home product” that uses “XR” technology in some way, according to job listings reported by Protocol.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many specific details included in the listings. one for one “Software Engineer – XR/AR, XR/AR Devices” says the job will include “conceiving and developing key software and architecture for a new-to-the-world smart home product.” The position is in a “new cross-functional team.” other listing for a “Mr. Technical Program Manager, New Products — XR” describes how it will “develop an advanced XR research concept into a magical and useful new-to-the-world consumer product.” that listing and other include the following preferred qualifications: “experience building deeply technical products, eg AI/ML, robotics, games.” Amazon did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Many big tech companies are starting to seriously dive into AR/VR devices. Goal, formerly facebook, is perhaps the one that has pivoted the most in this direction; already makes success search headphones Y smart glasses in partnership with Ray-Banand aims to free its first AR glasses in 2024. Apple’s long-rumored AR/VR headset may launch in 2023. Google expects to ship its AR headset in 2024. Snapchat announced its real AR glasses In Mayand although the edge i tried them in December, are not available to the public. And Microsoft has been selling the HoloLens during years.
Amazon could have an advantage in AR (and VR if it decides to use that technology) given its wide range of smart home devices. I can imagine a scenario where a pair of Amazon AR/VR glasses connect with other Alexa-enabled devices to give you an at-a-glance picture of everything going on in your home right in front of your eyes. (And that would be a step up from what the current Echo Frames can do.)
But let’s not forget that this is the company that has created some things out of left field before. The it has failed fire phone could change what you saw on the screen depending on your perspective. The Amazon Echo smart speaker, now commonplace, it was a pretty novel idea at the time. And Amazon even recently introduced a domestic robot named Astro. That’s all to say that Amazon might have some equally exciting ideas for this new AR/XR device.
Correction April 18, 6:55 pm ET: Snapchat announced its true AR glasses in May, not December. We are sorry for the mistake.