Amazon last week announced that it would expand its operations in Santa Barbara, California. The company has created 150 new tech positions and, with plans to double its workforce, has opened a new 48,000 square foot office for Alexa tech teams.
The team will help develop the technology behind Alexa's knowledge base across devices like Amazon Echo and Fire TV. The new team will work with the company's Development Center in Cambridge, England, the company noted in a press release.
The company is hiring for various roles in Santa Barbara, including software and data engineers, knowledge engineers, data scientists, machine learning associates and product managers, per the release.
Amazon is continuing to build up its tech teams as the company introduces updates to its products and expands further into different shopping channels.
In January, Amazon announced that it was expanding into in-car commerce via Alexa voice commands. The e-commerce giant introduced the Amazon Echo Show 5 last May, which featured new privacy controls, and the company launched smart home inventory sensors, a replacement for its previously discontinued Dash Buttons, back in September.
However, it's not quite clear whether smart speakers, which have not taken off as much as previously predicted, will gain the public's trust for purchases. According to an eMarketer report, 21.6 million people will have made a purchase using a smart speaker by the end of 2020, a projection that is lower than the firm's previous estimate of 23.6 million consumers.
In the interim, Amazon has made efforts in other areas, including speeding up its shipping efforts to bolster its convenience. Those endeavors appear to have paid off. In January, the online retailer reported an increase in net product sales year over year from $44.7 billion to $50.5 billion, driven in part by one-day shipping. Additionally, this past Cyber Monday was the "single biggest shopping day in the company's history."