In 2004, the Amazon team had a vision – to improve upon the physical book, to make it easier than ever for customers to discover and enjoy books. Gregg Zehr, who was at the time vice president of hardware engineering at Palm Computing, joined the team to make the vision a reality. In October 2004, Gregg formed a small team, moved into a shared space in a Palo Alto law library, and got to work as Lab126.
The Lab126 name originated from the arrow in the Amazon logo, which draws a line from A to Z in “Amazon.” In Lab126, the 1 stands for “A” and the “26” stands for “Z.” The subsidiary became a pioneering Amazon lab of innovation, research, and development for consumer electronics products.
After office moves in 2005 and 2006, as the small engineering team continued to grow, Amazon Lab126 moved to Cupertino City Center in February 2007. On November 19, after 3 years of research and development, the first Kindle e-reader launched with 90,000 e-books available for download. The Lab126 team watched a live broadcast of the announcement from New York, holding their breaths as Jeff Bezos introduced Kindle. Within 5.5 hours, Kindle was sold out.
Since then, the team has expanded rapidly, producing a variety of innovative products from the Kindle Voyage and Fire tablets to Amazon Echo. With continued growth, Amazon Lab126 moved again and is now headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. The team works on projects with the same spirit of innovation that fueled the first inventors.
We've come a long way, but it's still day one.