It was revealed that Amazon has formed a large, ever-expanding team to work on a secret project to build home robots. However, delays in production and the issue of the demand for the device give rise to the idea that Vesta home robots could be a failure for the company. Experts speculate the failure could be as massive as the Fire Phone, which cost Amazon $ 200 million in damages.
Within the framework of the Vesta project, a compact robot of the size “with two small cats“. It will be equipped with multiple cameras, a screen and a microphone. The device is also credited with having a storage compartment. Two people familiar with the development process described the device as “Fire Tablet mobile“. You can control the robot using Amazon Alexa voice commands.
It is assumed that by the time of launch, the design of the device may change dramatically. If the launch takes place at all. The robot has a fairly narrow scope of application. At the moment, the most thoughtful scenario for its use is using the device as a mobile platform for virtual meetings. The robot will allow the user to conduct a virtual meeting while freely moving around the house, without having to sit at a table. Amazon plans to add support for capabilities such as air temperature and humidity measurement, as well as security monitoring capabilities in Vesta, according to people familiar with the project. It is also reported about the possible introduction of the function of searching for lost things using computer vision.
According to an internal Amazon document, more than 800 employees of the company are currently part of the team working on Vesta. Home robots are one of the largest hardware initiatives in recent years for Lab126, Amazon’s personal device business. It developed products such as Kindle e-readers, Echo smart speakers, and Alexa.
At the same time, despite all the support from Amazon, Vesta’s business is progressing rather slowly. This is due to the multiple changes of strategies, and the postponement of the launch date. The combination of these factors raises concerns about the project’s potentially weak market viability, staff said. Recall that the development of Vesta started about four years ago. Then Amazon considered the project as a priority. Although the company still believes in the success of its brainchild, insiders are very skeptical about this. The question remains open: is this investment of time and resources worth releasing what may turn out to be a niche or completely useless product? More and more company employees and third-party experts agree that the project is doomed to failure, like the Fire Phone.
Amazon’s commitment to the Vesta project underscores the company’s commitment to expanding the reach of its proprietary voice assistant Alexa. It is assumed that at first sales of the device may be limited by the number of applications for its purchase. This approach will eliminate the risk that a heap of unsold products will remain in warehouses, as was the case with the Fire Phone. Amazon is reportedly in the final stages of testing one of the Vesta prototypes. This may indicate that the final product will be available this year.
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