Published October 21, 2015
Amazon.com is expanding beyond its range of Kindle devices as it aims to compete more directly with Google and Apple.
The Seattle e-commerce giant has recently been developing a wide-ranging lineup of gadgets—including two smartphones and an audio-only streaming device—to expand its reach beyond its Kindle Fire line of tablet computers, said people familiar with the company's plans.
One of the devices is a high-end smartphone featuring a screen that allows for three-dimensional images without glasses, these people said. Using retina-tracking technology, images on the smartphone would seem to float above the screen like a hologram and appear three-dimensional at all angles, they said. Users may be able to navigate through content using just their eyes, two of the people said.
Some elements of Amazon's hardware push have previously become public. Last year, news surfaced about Amazon developing one smartphone. And last month, The Wall Street Journal and other media outlets reported that Amazon also was developing a set-top box for streaming movies and TV shows.
But the people familiar with the plans said the smartphone and set-top box are just two elements of a broader foray into hardware that also includes the audiostreaming device and the high-end smartphone with the 3D screen. Inside Amazon's Lab126 facility in Cupertino, Calif., where each of the devices have been under development, the efforts are known as Project A, B, C and D, or collectively the Alphabet Projects, said the people familiar with the plans.
For more on Amazon's plans for future gadgets, see The Wall Street Journal.