Internet of Things, digital assistant and 3D tablets: Four projects Amazon's Lab 126 is secretly working on

Clara Guibourg
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Fire may not have delivered, but Amazon's engineers have other projects up their sleeve (Source: Getty)

They may be laying off “dozens” of engineers, but Amazon’s labs are still working on some pretty interesting projects.

After the company’s anticipated “iPhone killer”, the Fire, failed to deliver, it was reported today that engineers will be laid off after Amazon decided to retreat from smartphones - and from several other consumer hardware products.

Read more: Here's why the world needs Facebook M - the digital assistant could be better than Siri, Cortana and Google Now

But Lab 126, the company’s hardware division which employs some 3,000 people, has a number of other projects, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal. Here are some of the projects the lab has up its sleeve.

1. A Kindle with a two-year battery life

Because batteries running out is a first-class first-world frustration. Today, Kindle batteries last between two weeks and two months - but how about not having to charge your e-book reader again until the autumn of 2017?

2. Echo

Recently launched, Echo is a Siri-like digital assistant - but for your home. The assistant will answer your questions, but also connected devices, such as your sound system.

3. Kitchen computer

A kitchen computer isn't just a laptop you put on your countertop - rather, it's an expansion of the Internet-connected home of Echo. Given the code name “Kabinet”, this is supposed to act as a “hub” for your home - and of course, help you order products from Amazon.

4. A 3D tablet that won’t require glasses

3D consumer products have struggled to take off properly, partly because the need for glasses makes them impractical - although the Fire phone did include 3D elements.

If this report is correct, Amazon’s tablet project could change that, using technology called autostereoscopy.

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