Looks like Amazon is doubling down on the hardware R&D and pouring more money into a new development center.
Amazon is investing $55 million into a2z Development Center, the subsidiary that houses its Lab126 division that develops its hardware products like the Fire phone and Fire TV, according to a legal document first spotted by Reuters. Amazon will be adding 798 jobs and will get $1.2 million in tax credits according to the document.
Amazon is also allegedly testing “smart home” devices, including a simple Wi-Fi device customers can use to order products by pressing a button, according to Reuters sources. This device would be very much in line with the Dash, a handheld shopping gadget Amazon announced in April. The Dash can be used to order products from Amazon Fresh just by scanning barcodes from items.
Amazon has been working on and releasing a variety of hardware products recently, mostly in the media category such as its Kindle e-readers and the Fire TV, with some veering towards shopping and commerce such as the Fire phone, Dash, and Local Register, Amazon’s card reader for small businesses.
Amazon has also been expanding its delivery services, launching Amazon Fresh and same-day delivery into new cities, as well as adding new services such as Amazon Pantry, which sends customers everyday items on a regular basis to save them a trip to the store.