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 postings. reported by Protocol . .
Unfortunately, there aren’t many specific details included in the listings. One for a “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.” Another 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 list and another 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. Meta, formerly Facebook, is perhaps the one that has turned the most in this direction; it already makes the successful Quest headsets and smart glasses in partnership with Ray-Ban, and aims to release its first AR glasses in 2024. Apple’s long-rumored AR/VR headset may launch in 2023. Google expects to ship its AR headsets in 2024. Snapchat announced its true AR glasses in May, and though they were tested by The Verge in December, they aren’t available to the public. And Microsoft has been selling HoloLens for 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 current Echo Frames can do.)