Amazon to invest US$55m to create internet of things smart home gadgets

24 Sep 2014

E-commerce and cloud giant Amazon is to invest US$55m in its special Lab126 division to take on Apple, Samsung and Google on the smart homes and internet of things battle front.

Lab126 is the special R&D group at Amazon that is responsible for the development of devices like the Kindle e-reader and the Fire smartphone.

The US$55m investment will increase full-time members of the Lab126 team to over 3,700 people.

The smart home and internet of things space is beginning to heat up, especially following Google’s US$3.2bn acquisition of thermostat maker Nest earlier this year and Samsung’s acquisition of SmartThings last month.

Apple is also eyeing the space closely and at its WWDC in June launched a set of APIs entitled HomeKit to encourage developers to create apps, services and products for the smart digital home.

One device expected to emerge from Amazon’s Lab126, according to Reuters, is a simple Wi-Fi device for the kitchen that allows consumers to order items like detergent or nappies with the press of a single button.

The group is also expected to work on wearable devices. A Fire Watch anyone?

Smart home image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years