Amazon will reportedly invest $55 million in its Lab126 hardware unit’s operations in Sunnyvale and Cupertino, and expand its staff by 3,757 people or 27 percent by 2019.
That is according to a report from Reuters, which cites a “little-known government document” and people familiar with the matter, indicating that by doing so, Amazon will get $1.2 million in tax breaks, and will create home devices.
Such devices, in fact, are reportedly already being tested by the company. Reuters reports:
Amazon is testing a simple wi-fi device that could be placed in the kitchen or a closet, allowing customers to order products like detergent by pressing a button, one of the people said. Lab126 is also interested in wearable devices, the other person said. Both sources stressed that such devices may never come to market.
In a statement, Amazon said Lab126 was moving “incredibly quickly” and cited the company’s 2014 devices, including the Fire phone, Fire set-top box and several new tablets and e-readers.
Amazon’s first Fire phone hasn’t exactly been met with a great deal of enthusiasm, but clearly that’s not deterring the company from focusing more heavily on devices. The new tablets and e-readers were just announced last week.
Investors have grown impatient with Amazon’s financial performance as the company continues to sink money into experimental projects. It doesn’t look like the company will be backing away from that strategy anytime soon.
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