May 31, 2022
Executive says tech giant’s focus is products for the ‘here and now.’
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s view of the importance of the metaverse is not getting an endorsement from Amazon – at least when it comes to consumer use.
At the recent WSJ Future of Everything Festival, Amazon senior vice president David Limp was asked whether Amazon will be building for the metaverse.
Limp said that while he believes there will be a place for the metaverse, Amazon’s focus is to “enhance the here and now” experience rather than developing projects focused on the AR/VR world.
Instead, Amazon is working on improving ambient intelligence and ambient user interfaces with Echo and Fire TV. Ambient intelligence and ambient user interfaces are technologies that let a device interact autonomously with people through sensors, such as Amazon Alexa or Apple’s Siri.
“I want to try to work on technologies that bring people’s heads up, get them to enjoy the real world around them,” Limp said.
He believes in boosting the “communal experience” so users can enjoy the people around them.
While augmented reality glasses would be the type of tech project Amazon would be interested in because “you could actually see through to the rest of the world,” he’s concerned about an experience that “completely embeds everybody in and distracts them from the here and now.”
He also said VR glasses do have a place in entertainment that he himself enjoys but he doesn’t envision a future where he would want to live in the VR world all the time − or even several hours a day.
Moreover, Limp said that the definition of the metaverse varied widely.
“We don’t all have a common definition, and it means a lot of different things to a lot of people,” said Limp. He added that there is a place for a metaverse and its role will shift in the future.