Kindle, Echo mavericks now developing Covid-19 testing tech

Amazon’s team at LAB126 is now supporting the company’s initiative to amplify Covid-19 testing. (AFP pic)

SEATTLE: On Monday, GeekWire reported that the team behind the creation of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader and Echo speakers is now working on developing Covid-19 testing.

Like Apple, Google, and a handful of other tech giants, Amazon is refocusing some of its hardware development teams to create tools that support the health industry in their fight against Covid-19.

This week tech media GeekWire spotted some job openings for Lab126 mechanical design engineers who will “investigate and introduce new technology and methodology to enhance quality and efficiency of Covid-19 testing,” among other duties.

Hired employees will be working in Hebron, Kentucky. Currently, Amazon is working with existing labs to process Covid-19 tests done by their workers; however, last week, Bloomberg reported that self-administered test “samples may fly in Amazon cargo jets to a lab the company is setting up” in northern Kentucky.

Previously, Lab126 has been the site where Kindle, Fire, and Echo products have been produced.

Now, it will also be used to support the company’s Covid-19 testing initiative. While this movement is being implemented a bit late — after Amazon and its CEO have been under international scrutiny for the treatment of their essential workers during the pandemic outbreak — it’s ultimately slated to better the conditions of the company’s vast multitude of workers.