Amazon reportedly has a projector that could turn any surface in your home into a screen, Reuters reported. People familiar with the matter told the news organization that the projector is designed to do things like beam a recipe on the wall above a stove and make zoom calls that track you as you move around the house.
A touch interactive projected screen is an evident move for the ambient smart home that Amazon has long proposed, one where the tech appears when you need it and disappears when you don't. That's exactly the definition of a projector.
The potential for more applications around the home is quite exciting, as others have shown. Bosch demonstrated a kitchen projector at CES 2019 that utilized its MEMS-based projection tech with similar functions as Amazon's rumored device. I saw a demo of it showing you how to cut a cake simply, but there are many more potential use cases, especially in a kitchen or bathroom with plenty of counter space.
The combination of map capabilities and a touch screen projector opens up even more interesting prospects. A screen that could appear in front of you when you need to interact with it, wherever you're in your house, would be really useful. It could also reduce the need for multiple interfaces in a smart home.
While I spoke to Dave Limp, the SVP of devices and services, prior to Amazon's event last week, he said, they had worked on developing a device to measure the inside of your home for Map View. He said : In the end, they opted to use the existing lidar mapping capabilities on the iPhone Pro models.
The most common move here would be to use the maps iRobot's Roombas built of your home, which could be why Amazon bought the robot vacuum company. As I wrote when the announcement was made, he said: 'It is time for change,' said Mr. Bush.
The sale has stalled due to regulatory scrutiny. When I asked Limp about using Maps from Roomba, he sidestepped, saying maps from Astro - its home robot with tracking capabilities - would one day converge with the new Alexa Map View.
In its continued mission to make Alexa as profitable as its other revenue streams, a new piece of high-tech hardware that sells for close to cost is an odd play. But since day one, the'stick an Alexa-enabled gadget in every corner of customers' homes has been the company's approach, and according to this week's hardware event, that doesn't seem to be changing. A voice-activated projector would certainly open up more corners - albeit flat ones!