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Amazon Job Offer Hints at Plans for Virtual Reality Shopping Apps

Amazon wants to build apps for virtual reality headsets to start selling its products through the new medium, if a new job offer is any indication. The company is currently looking for a “Creative Director, Virtual Reality” whose tasks include to “envision the future of Amazon’s VR solutions and guide our creative and technical teams to produce compelling, world-class experiences.”

The job offer comes from Amazon’s A9 team, which operates product search and advertising for Amazon’s online store, among other things. “Our team is composed of engineers, designers, product managers and scientists, and we are building Amazon’s VR shopping experience for use by millions of customers on a wide variety of VR devices,” the job offer reads.

Potential applicants are encouraged to be “passionate about VR and (have a) strong understanding of what makes a compelling VR experience.” Knowledge about augmented and mixed reality technologies is being seen as a bonus, but the focus of the role seems to be clearly about VR, with other preferred job qualifications including an “extensive understanding of the competitive landscape and global business environment impacting VR, media and entertainment industries.”

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on the company’s plans for VR.

A9 has been dabbling in image recognition and mobile-based augmented reality for some time; Amazon released a visual search app called Flow years ago that allows consumers to take photos of products and then search for them on Amazon.com. And last fall, it released an app called “Amazon Product Preview” that lets consumers explore how a new TV or lamp would look like in their living room.

Separately, Amazon has been quietly working on a VR initiative for Amazon Studios, the production arm for Amazon’s Prime Video service. Amazon Studios hired former Tribeca director Genna Terranova to head its VR content initiative in December, and was previously looking for team members to build an app as well as produce original content for VR headsets.

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