Amazon Head Of Devices: Company Focused On Real-World Technology, Not The Metaverse

Amazon.

com Inc. focuses more on technologies that affect the real world, rather than the so-called metaverse.

The e-commerce giant’s ambitions, for now, are to expand the capabilities of its arsenal of devices, including with home robots and ambient computing, said David Limp, senior vice president of devices and services at Amazon. Mr. Limp appeared at The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything festival on Thursday.

“I really fundamentally believe, and I think that’s what we spend a lot of time on in my organization, that we want to improve the here and now,” Mr. Limp said. “I want to try to work on technologies that make people think, make them enjoy the real world. »

David Limp, senior vice president for devices at Amazon, discusses the company’s Project Kuiper satellite internet service and its potential for lower costs and better bandwidth, at the WSJ Future of Everything Festival. Photo: Andy Davis for the WSJ

Amazon has been working on such projects for years, from the Kindle e-reader to its success with the virtual assistant Alexa and, more recently, robots.

Last year, the company introduced a home robot named Astro, which works like a mobile Alexa, performs home security services and can deliver items to a rear container. The Journal’s personal tech columnist Joanna Stern reviewed Astro in April, concluding that while the robot was adorable by nature, it didn’t serve a clear purpose. Mr Limp said on Thursday that Astro represented the company’s first robot iteration and that he expects within the next decade every home will have some form of robot.

Amazon has tried in recent years to embed Alexa in several of its devices and services. Last September, Amazon launched its own TVs with Alexa. The launch included two lines of its Amazon-branded Fire TVs. At the company’s annual device event last fall, its releases featured updates to its Echo family, including a 15-inch smart bezel, and Ring security products. Amazon typically launches a slew of products at the annual event, some of which never reach a large consumer base.

Mr. Limp also discussed Thursday the company’s ambitions for its proposed fleet of internet satellites named Project Kuiper. Amazon has rushed to catch up with SpaceX to send broadband satellites into low Earth orbit in a bet they can compete with traditional broadband providers. Amazon said in April it had secured up to 83 planned launches that would carry satellites into orbit over a five-year period.

Mr. Limp said the company believes hundreds of millions of people could use the technology not only in remote parts of the world, but also in locations in the United States. SpaceX has taken the lead in building a fleet of orbiting satellites.

Asked how Project Kuiper differed from SpaceX’s Starlink service, Mr Limp said there was room for several broadband satellite companies, but Amazon’s subsequent startup allowed him to pull advantage of “new technologies” that could reduce costs for customers, although he acknowledged Amazon is behind SpaceX.

“We don’t have anything flying in space yet.” he said. “We have a lot to do, it’s risky and a lot to prove over the next two years.”

Write to Sebastian Herrera at [email protected]

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