Amazon wants to bring One Click purchases to the kitchens and cupboards of future smart homes.
The shopping giant is reportedly working on is a WiFi device that sits in the kitchen or a cupboard and lets you order simple products like washing powder, or whatever you’re running low on, simply by pressing a button.
This could augment online shopping, letting people buy groceries and clothing even easier than it is right now with Amazon’s ‘One Click’ ordering system.
As the so-called Internet of Things expands, tech companies are placing phones at the centre of future smart homes. Both Apple and Samsung want you to control your smart home appliances with their devices.
Shopping giant Amazon already lets you complete shopping orders on your phone, but with the assistance of a smart sensor in your kitchen, you could get real time updates pushed to your phone, telling you when you’re low on milk.
While Amazon isn’t selling food in the UK right now, you can order beer, wine and spirits. The Amazon Fresh subsidiary has been selling groceries in parts of the US since 2007 and given founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’s desire for Amazon to sell absolutely everything, you can bet that Amazon will want to take on Tesco and Ocado at some point.
An unnamed source working on the project told Reuters that Amazon is boosting staff in its Lab 126 R&D division by 27 per cent (accounting for around 3,757 people) over the next five years.
Amazon spokesperson Kinley Pearsall said: “We will continue to invent and create new features, services and products, and to support this innovation. Lab 126 is also growing very quickly.”
For now, it’s very early days. Amazon isn’t parking its tanks on Tesco’s lawn yet – the tanks haven’t even started rolling out of the factories. Reuters’s source stressed heavily that the product might not even see the light of day.
Similarly, there are rumours of Amazon working on wearable tech to take on the Android Wear and Apple Watches. Lab 126 staff could be beavering away at Fire Watch blueprints right now but even if it is being worked on, the Fire Watch might never go any further than sketches on a drawing board.
Amazon is no stranger to working on new ways for its customers to order and receive deliveries. It has already announced it’s testing drones to deliver goods, although the jury’s out on exactly when these will start zipping off to customer’s homes.
Lab126 was previously used to develop the company’s Kindle, Kindle Fire and Amazon Fire smartphone.