Tomorrow will either bring us news of Amazon’s first smartphone, or spectacular disappointment – but really, considering all we’ve seen, both by way of leaks and Amazon’s not-at-all-hard-to-read teaser video, the odds are massively in favor of the company’s first smartphone going public. It will join Amazon’s family of Kindle Fire Android-based tablets, as well as the company’s previous Kindle line of e-readers and its recent foray into set-top boxes, as the latest component of the retailer’s hardware family. But what comes after that? Firm answers are still far away, but today we get a little peek into the future with a new report of the latest developments from Amazon’s Lab126.
Lab126 is a secretive hardware think tank, where Amazon engineers come up with the sort of innovative gear that leads to features like the Amazon smartphone’s expected multi-camera gesture-tracking and parallax pseudo-3D system.
One thing Lab126 is reportedly working on is some sort of projector, and its ability to work with a variety of surfaces suggests that it could have a mobile spin. Pico projectors on phones have never really caught on in a big way, but maybe Amazon could breathe some new life into the idea.
There’s also talk of a “voice-powered wireless speaker,” and while that could be something as simple as a speaker that accepts voice commands for basic power and volume functions, what if it were paired with a remote voice assistant service like Siri, Cortana, or Google Now? Instead of a smartwatch, maybe we could get something like a smart speaker – just stick it somewhere and get voice alerts about incoming emails or appointment reminders, and respond to them by speaking aloud.
This is just scratching the surface, and Amazon’s Lab126 is probably working on a whole lot more that’s so hush-hush we haven’t even caught wind of it yet. With a little luck, we just might pick up some hints about the company’s future direction at tomorrow’s event.