Smart home gadgets and a wearable may be next on Amazon's list

All to help you buy more

Amazon Fire TV introduction

Although Amazon has thrown its hat into the tablet, set-top box and smartphone arenas, each type of device shares a common goal: make it easier to buy things from the mothership.

This objective could soon expand across the entire home.

Reuters reported that Amazon's secretive Lab126 division is hard at work on the next generation of hardware to help shoppers consume more of the e-tailer's goods with the push of a single button.

According to an unnamed source, the estimated $55 million (about £33.6 million, AU$61.9 million) plans involve development of internet-connected "smart home gadgets" capable of notifying consumers when consumables or repairs are needed. They could then order items like laundry detergent with the push of a button.

Exactly how Amazon customers might conduct these purchases remains murky, but a second unidentified source claims the e-tailer is interested in some form of wearable device, as well as sensors that could facilitate such technology.

Now hiring

Apparently an expansion beyond existing Kindle Fire, Fire TV and Fire Phone hardware, the report claims Amazon intends to beef up engineering staff at the company's Sunnyvale and Cupertino facilities over the next five years.

The sources are in agreement that Amazon's ambitious plans may never bear fruit, while company spokeswoman Kinley Pearsall offered little insight as to what Lab126 is up to beyond the current 2014 hardware lineup.

"We will continue to invent and create new features, services and products, and to support this innovation," Pearsall told Reuters in a statement, adding Lab126 was moving "incredibly quickly" while growing at an equally accelerated rate.

Unfortunately, the engineering group's most recent endeavor - the four-year odyssey known as Fire Phone - has thus far failed to live up to hype, with a steep price cut from $199 (about UK£122, AU$224) to less than a dollar with a two-year AT&T contract.

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