As Amazon’s Q1 earnings report quickly approaches, here’s a glimpse of the future.
Amazon is hardly a stranger to reinvention. Lest we forget, the online retail giant started off as an online bookseller. Since then, it has evolved into a force to be reckoned with in online retail, logistics, consumer technology, cloud computing and media streaming.
As for what the future holds, a recent report from CB Insights has broken down data Amazon’s recent investments, acquisitions, job openings and developments, analyzing the data to cobble together a sense of what’s next. Here are some of their key findings.
Unsurprisingly, the next area where Amazon looks to shine is in AI and machine learning.
Given the breakaway success of its smart speaker devices powered by Alexa and recent moves to open up both the hardware and software behind it, Amazon is betting big on the technologies at play. Particularly as it pertains to becoming an AI-as-a-service platform provider.
“Subsidizing its Alexa-powered hardware is a clear path to ascendancy within consumer and developer circles,” CB Insights wrote in the report. “Amazon has conveyed it has no desire to make its bet solely on hardware. Instead, the end goal is to be the cloud-based voice software powering everything from car dashboards to consumer wearables.”
Likewise, logistics will continue to be a major area of focus for the company. The study found that 78 of Amazon’s 2016 patents were focused on developing its logistics network — about one quarter of all patents filed for the year. The company’s flying warehouse designs come to mind. Not to mention major investments in planes, ships and drone technology.
Then, of course, there’s Amazon Web Services — the largest driver of revenue for the company after its core business. (And a major driver of profit following multi-billion dollar shipping losses per annum.)
The subsidiary’s role in creating enterprise cloud apps, storage services and potential opportunities to develop AR and VR technologies peg AWS as another major contributor to the future composition of Amazon.