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September 24, 2014

Amazon to Bolster Testing Facility to Up Smart Home Device Testing

Staffing levels at Amazon’s top-secret Lab126 division will be increased by at least 27 percent over the next half decade as the company tests Smart home gadgets.

Sources told Reuters Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos plans to double its current retail strategy for Internet-connected devices for the home. Bezos, the sources said, is bolstering his testing facility so it can dominate the connected-home devices market, and leave rivals Google and Apple in the dust.

A government document seen by Reuters has also revealed the company’s plans to increase Lab126’s full-time payroll to at least 3,757 people by 2019. The agreement, which was reached with California in June, would hand Amazon $1.2 million in tax breaks.

Amazon will also invest $55 million in Lab126’s operations in Sunnyvale and Cupertino, according to the agreement.

Amazon, in a statement to Reuters, said Lab126 was moving “incredibly quickly” citing its 2014 devices such as the Fire phone, Fire set-top box and several new tablets and e-readers as examples.

“We will continue to invent and create new features, services and products, and to support this innovation,” Amazon spokeswoman Kinley Pearsall said. “Lab 126 is also growing very quickly.”