Amazon is creating a new virtual reality platform, a job posting on employer evaluation site GlassDoor has indicated. The posting, spotted by UploadVR, calls for a senior software development manager for a new virtual reality team. The posting doesn’t specify exactly what the successful candidate will be working on, but they will be responsible for “building the Virtual Reality experience within Amazon Video.”
So the vaunted Lab 126 is a bit short on talent, eh?
When Bezos attacks a market, he goes for the kill.
Despite my opinion of them being crap, Amazon’s latest crop of Fire tablets single-handedly killed the prospects for all Chinese tablet brands — Teclast, Chuwi, et al — to enter the American market. That is the kind of foresight Bezos has.
(Yes, it didn’t work out with the Fire phone, but let’s skip that, OK? And it could be argued his idea of 3D in a phone was correct in principle, now that we’re here talking about VR needing to be 3D.)
But the idea of Amazon versus Facebook for VR is a different beast.
Unless Amazon is going to start getting “social” — don’t get me started on their forums; just don’t — Zuckerberg will still be the major player in VR until such time that Apple enters. And even then, most people will use Facebook VR services on their Apple products. Because is Apple going to be all stupid and block Facebook VR services to risk a Restraint of Trade investigation from the FTC? That didn’t work out well with books. And Apple is simply incompetent at “social.” They understand only product experiences, not human ones.
Despite the job posting specifically mentioning storytelling and Amazon Video, you can bet Bezos is planning to use VR for product listings. “Now You Can Shop Amazon In VR!”
Now, the questions:
Is Amazon planning its own VR headset?
If so, will it be proprietary?
What to do about Facebook’s dynamic streaming scheme (which I insist Zuckerberg will patent the hell out of)?
Will there be “self-publishing” for VR, as with Kindle Books?
Is Amazon planning its own VR camera?
This is going to get interesting for VR. Aside from Apple, Amazon is the one company with the marketing punch to educate the public about VR and why they should want it.