Behind Amazon’s Mysterious and Secretive ‘New-to-World’ Project

Power Retail By Power Retail | 20 Apr 2022

Amazon is no stranger to heavily investing in new projects. A recently unearthed series of job listings on the retailer’s website has the industry wondering what’s next on the cards for Amazon.

What is Amazon working on right now? According to a job listing, the online giant might be entering the AR space, as they hire professionals to develop a ‘new-to-world smart-home product’ that uses XR technology.

According to the job listing on Amazon’s website, the lucky candidate “will develop an advanced XR research concept into a magical and useful new-to-world consumer product,” specialising in XR/AR, XR/AR Devices.

Another listing requires a UX designer who will work on “the core system interface along with end-user applications spanning from multi-modal interfaces to 3D AR entertainment experiences,” the company explains. What does this entail? According to Amazon – “think spatially, with 3D design experience in motion design, animation [and] AR/VR, games.”

Some listings list the new project as ‘magical’ and ‘useful’, others as ‘a new-to-world smart home product’.

Amazon is yet to fully immerse itself in the AR and virtual reality space, but not for a lack of trying. Unlike Meta and Snap Inc, which have launched their own glasses – Oculus and Spectacles – Amazon has not released anything close.

In 2013, the business launched its own smart glasses – Echo Frames – but it doesn’t offer any visual components. Instead, they offer hands-free Alexa capabilities, such as making calls, listening to podcasts and sending texts.

Amazon’s Echo Frames only offer audio functions | via Amazon

What could this next phase of tech development mean for Amazon? Shopping virtually using an AR headset? Virtually trying on clothes before ordering online? A robot that delivers online orders to your door and into your home? The options are endless.

However, it’s important to remember that Amazon has developed and launched some products that seem great on paper, only to fail in real life.

Take, for instance, the Dash buttons, Sure, they sounded amazing – the ability to purchase items that need to be regularly re-ordered – think laundry powder, dishwashing tablets, etc – with the touch of a button. But after a couple of years, the idea was shelved.

What about the Fire Phone, the failed experiment that allowed users to see different things on their phone based on the perspective when they held the device? Launching in 2014, it was discontinued a little over a year later.

But that’s not to say that all Amazon ventures have been a flop. The Amazon Echo is one of the most popular home devices on the planet, so it’s only fair to see where this development goes before we place any predictions or forecasts. Hell, it may not even eventuate into anything at all.

We’ll keep you updated as more details are unearthed.

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