From amazon Dave Limp, who runs the electronics retailer’s hardware division, said the company’s leap to home robots this week started with a focus on safety and then turned into a product that can also deliver a drink or take a video call. .
“We wrote a document in which we thought customers would especially like the safety aspects of a home robot,” Limp told CNBC. Jon fortt in an interview that aired on Friday in “TechCheck”. “Since then it has evolved to cover a lot more surface than that, but that was the kind of original idea.”
Amazon has built a variety of hardware devices over the years, from its first Kindle e-readers to modern tablets, voice-activated smart speakers, and a smart TV. But his latest device, an Alexa-powered robot called the Astro, may be his most ambitious yet.
Amazon introduced Astro on Tuesday at your annual hardware event. The company began experimenting with robots in its own warehouses before finally developing a consumer product. Limp said Amazon spent the past four years working on the device.
Astro is packed with sensors that allow you to seamlessly navigate your entire home and around objects. Includes two Qualcomm chips that enhance functions such as visual identification, which allows you to recognize one user from another. Astro can autonomously patrol your home, respond to commands, and send reminders.
While Amazon has generally focused on the thrifty with its lower-cost Echo speakers and TV streaming devices, the Astro starts at $ 1,000 for users who receive an invitation for early access and will cost $ 1,500 for those who buy it from. the launch.
“We still find that some of our highest volume products are around $ 50,” Limp said. “That being said, some of these brands have been around for a while, and while that is happening, customers are asking us to add more features.”
Recent updates in smart home technology such as sensors and processors allowed Amazon to consider launching a robot powered by Alexa, Limp added.
“The combination of that got us excited, well, we should start with this,” he said.
Amazon still relies on e-commerce, cloud computing, and now advertising for most of its revenue, and it doesn’t break down device sales. The company generally sees the devices as a way to get consumers to use other services, such as Prime shipping or streaming music and video.