Apple (AAPL) is looking to get into development for in-home robotics, according to a report from Bloomberg, as the company has abandoned its electric vehicle project. The report specifically details that Apple engineers are looking to develop mobile robots that can follow users inside their home.

Yahoo Finance Tech Editor Dan Howley joins Yahoo Finance to break down why a project of this nature is unusual for the tech giant.

For more expert insight and the latest market action, click here to watch this full episode of Yahoo Finance Live.

Editor’s note: This article was written by Nicholas Jacobino

Video Transcript


JOSH LIPTON: Apple reportedly exploring the home robotics scene. This is according to Bloomberg here with all the details is Yahoo Finance’s Dan Howley. Dan.

DAN HOWLEY: That’s right we’re talking about the potential for an in-home robot. Now, as Josh you said, this is from Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. And this is essentially something that we’ve seen somewhat before. Amazon has its own robot currently called Astro. And it’s an in-home robot. It follows you around. It can carry things from room to room, like a soda can or something. It’s not going to pick up your laundry and carry it for you, though that would be awesome.

And it acts as kind of an in-home sentry to a degree, trying to make sure things are askew or someone’s doing something around your house that you don’t necessarily want intruders more likely. But this is still something that’s very much early in development. According to the report, they could use things like some of the technology from the car that was in development and then canceled some of the technology to help navigate around the home. That could come from some of the car stuff. So there’s things already in the works or that were in the works that could be repurposed for this.

I think the bigger question is whether people want a robot following them around their home or something along those lines. And you know, Amazon’s Astro is still a very niche product, relatively small, and expensive. I think if people were clamoring for something like this, they would have brought it up already. It’s not going to be like Rosey from “The Jetsons,” it’s not going to talk to you or anything like that. It’s going to be just a little robot that follows you around, if that’s what Apple actually ends up coming out with.

JULIE HYMAN: Yeah. I– as somebody shared a tweet with from the team like, if the robot is not going to do my dishes and clean my house so that I can do stuff I want to do, and I don’t know how interested I am. But speaking of Amazon as well, they are also making some changes to personnel. Some of this has to do with the reporting that we heard about recently that they were closing some of their in-person stores, but it does seem to be more than that. What’s going on there?

DAN HOWLEY: Yeah. This is related to one of their segments, it’s called the sales marketing and global services organization. They’re laying off a few hundred people there. They say that it’s a result of different changes that they’re making to training. They’re going to do self-service training, things like that.

They’re also going to be eliminating some people who worked with the physical stores related to a shift away from in some of the stores from, the larger stores, the kind of technology that allows you to just walk out with goods. So it would use cameras around, allow you to just pick up what you want and take off. And the changes there seem to be that they’re going to start removing those from larger grocery stores but use them in smaller stores.

And if you haven’t used it before, it’s basically you go in, you pick something up off the shelf. Cameras around are able to see what you’re grabbing. And then you leave, and it’s charged to your card that you have on file when you initially walk in. And so what they’re going to change that to is potentially some of the smarter shopping carts that they have where you can actually scan items as you drop them into your cart.

So you wouldn’t– they’re not fully eliminating the just walk-out technology. That’s going to be something that’s more for smaller stores, think things like airports, Amazon Go stores, things like that. So it’s just not going to be in the broader, larger scale stores.

It feels as though we’re getting kind of a push back against that technology. I know there’s been some of those self-checkout lines that are getting less of an emphasis. We’re seeing some real-life cashiers come back in to replace them. And it’s just, when it comes to those self-checkout lines, they’re just a pain. I mean, every five seconds, they’re going off. And you need someone to come over and help you anyway. So we’re seeing more of a movement away from that.

But Amazon just making this change on its own as far as the larger grocery stores go.

JOSH LIPTON: Dan Howley, thank you appreciate it.


By admin