Jennifer Salke, head of Amazon Studios, may have misspoke when talking about a new visual interface for Amazon’s Prime Video service — so far as Amazon sees it, she made a mistake.
Salke was participating in a Television Critics Association panel and a reporter had asked if Prime Video would get an improved visual interface. What she ended up telling people was that she actually had a new Amazon phone.
Here’s what she said as reported by TheWrap:
I haven’t felt an urgency to put a deadline on it. Because I’ll tell you — and you’re welcome to come to my office — I went up there and met with them and they had a prototype phone that showed me the interface that they’re working on that’s about to be — that’s in the middle of being developed and coming soon. And I said, ‘I have to have that phone in Los Angeles.
Because I run into a lot of people like you … and myself at some point, you know? I was on the side of criticizing some of that as well. So it’s like where, you know, how can you answer the question of, ‘how is this going to improve?’ And they actually created and sent me a prototype phone that’s in my office.
So please come see me and I’ll show you how cool it is, because it’s much more intuitive. I find it to be sort of seamless the way that they’ve used actually, well I don’t know if I should give it away. It’s cool! And you can actually look at it in my office.
A spokeswoman for Amazon made the press rounds, saying that Salke meant to say that she used a “prototype user interface” on a currently available smartphone. Even if it’s a big mistake to make, it’s an understandable one — software prototyping is usually done on a limited set of hardware and Salke would have to be attached to a certain phone to use the new interface.
You may remember the Amazon Fire Phone as the online retailer’s first attempt at original mobile hardware with an interesting take on spatial-tracking visual interfaces, but a failure in sales. Rumors of a second Fire Phone in 2016 never turned true. Still, always be skeptical of what might be an attempt to muzzle some secrets that might have cut loose from the cage.
When asked about when the media would be able to get a sneak peek, she said “Soon! Like it’s lining up with what the investment and what we’re trying to do. They wanted the best UI possible.” Amazon has been increasing its original content production docket to compete against an incumbent Netflix in streaming media.