That’s according to a report from Reuters news agency, which also speculated that the e-commerce giant is preparing to boost that figure by more than a quarter over the next five years.
The report says that one of its ultimate objectives is to develop a button for integration into many connected home appliances to enable one-press ordering of replacement supplies, such as detergent for a washing machine.
A document posted on the website of the governor of California state reveals Amazon’s intention to invest $55million in its secretive Lab126 division over the next five years. This includes a plan to boost the department’s workforce to more than 3,750 by 2019.
A number of the unnamed sources of Reuters’ report stressed that, while Amazon is testing various applications for smart tech, its mass market adoption still depends on further proof being established that consumers actually want the capabilities it can offer, and are prepared to pay a premium for them.
Ryo Koyama, CEO of Weaved, a start-up firm working on connected-home technology, told Reuters: “If I walk into my laundry room and there's a big pool of water and the floor needs to be replaced, I'd love to know about it two weeks before it happens.”