Items tagged with (NASDAQ:AMZN)

The smart home category is one of the fastest growing segments and everyone wants a piece of it. That includes Apple, which is looking for another breakout product like the iPhone. Apparently Apple believes that product could be a smart home device similar to Amazon's Echo gadget, but powered by Siri instead of Alexa and sporting a few additional bells and whistles.People who claim to be familiar with Apple's plans say that Apple began work on the smart home device two years ago, and that the project just recently exited the research and development phase. Apple has yet to finalize plans for whatever... Read more...
Amazon first launched its Echo speaker in November 2014, and it has quickly become a dominant force in the personal digital assistant market. Roughly a year ago, Amazon opened up the Alexa engine that powers the Echo to developers. The resulting Alexa Skills allow developers to “plug-in” their services to the speaker using voice commands. Now, over 3,000 Alexa Skills are available for customers to use. Today, Amazon is making a minor update to its original Echo speaker. Since its debut, the Echo has only been available in a black finish. However, black might not fit the design aesthetic for... Read more...
Amazon Alexa has been gaining new skills at a dizzying pace. Back in early June, Alexa had amassed 1,000 skills, and by the end of that month the number had already jumped to 1,400. Today, that number stands at over 3,000. That’s a remarkable feat for the humble, voice-activated speaker that first launched back in late 2014. The Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) and Alexa Voice Service (AVS) has been around for roughly a year, and developers have wasted no time plugging their apps and services into Alexa and the Echo family of products. That was on display today with announcements of a dozen new Alexa skills... Read more...
Good luck trying to get your hands on an Amazon's tiny speaker accessory, the Echo Dot, which plugs into your existing speaker system and allows you to summon Alexa, smarty-pants digital assistant that keeps getting better with time. The Echo Dot's been sold out for the past two months, though don't fret, it appears that new version is on its way.Amazon's social media person in charge of its Echo Dot Twitter account goofed on Monday by prematurely unveiling a new model on the microblogging service. The tweet read, "Introducing the all-new Echo Dot. Add Alexa to any room—now for just $49.99." The... Read more...
Somewhere along the line it was decided that $10 per month would be the standard rate for an unlimited streaming music subscription. Spotify and Apple Music both charge that amount for their base service, as do several others such as Rhapsody and Google Music. But is that too much for the general public at large? Amazon and Pandora seem to think so, as both are preparing to launch streaming services for as low as $5 per month.Pandora is a bit different than the other music services named. It's essentially an Internet radio model that learns what types of music you like and tries its best to play... Read more...
Amazon is tired of being merely an online retailer and is aggressively expanding into brick-and-mortar store locations. The company plans on opening over a dozen pop-up stores in American malls over the next year. The stores will particularly focus on Echo home speakers and Alexa. While the Amazon bookstore that opened in Seattle last year is run by Amazon’s retail team, its pop-up stores will instead be organized by the devices team. The initiative is led by Senior Vice President of Devices and Services Dave Lim. The pop-up stores will therefore focus on Amazon devices such as the Echo and Kindle.... Read more...
Amazon is trying to persuade sports fans to give up their cable networks and join Prime. To pull this off, Amazon is currently negotiating to carry live streaming video of sporting events. The company is particularly interested in sports with international appeal such as tennis, golf, soccer, rugby, and auto racing. Tennis Channel Chief Executive Officer Ken Solomon remarked, “Amazon has been leaning forward on sports. They want to be a new age MSO (multiple systems operator).” Solomon claims he has been in talks with Amazon for over a year. Live sport offerings could give Amazon an edge over competitors... Read more...
Let’s pretend that you just asked Alexa to get an Uber for you. You go and get ready, but have no idea when your ride will arrive. In order to get that information, you have to ask Alexa when your Uber ride will be at your door. Amazon’s upcoming update, however, means that Alexa will now update you without being prompted. Amazon plans to update the Alexa assistant in the Echo and Fire HD 8 tablet to speak certain important notifications without being asked by the user. Amazon is referring to this feature as “push notifications”. It is currently unclear which apps or skills will receive the push... Read more...
For the first time, Amazon's Alexa voice service is headed to a tablet. It's one of the standout features of Amazon's new Fire HD 8, a budget slate built from the ground up to offer users all-day battery life, faster performance, and double the onboard storage of previous versions Fire HD tablets. The kicker here is its $90 price tag. While not without its competitors, it's fair to say that Amazon dominates the low-cost tablet market with its highly popular Fire HD line. The new Fire HD 8 won't do anything to compromise Amazon's position in the tablet market. Just the opposite, its poised to bolster... Read more...
Artificially intelligent systems are becoming increasingly capable as companies like Amazon build in new functionality and team with partners for creative uses of these technologies. Case in point, Hyundai is the first automaker to launch an Alexa skill, allowing remote voice commands to control connected cars as part of its Geneses Connected Services. Hyundai's Genesis Connected Services links the Alexa service built into Amazon Echo, Tap, Echo Dot, and Fire TV with the Genesis G80 and G90 luxury sedans. The benefit for G80 and G90 owners is that they can bark out remote car commands from inside... Read more...
In many ways Walmart is the offline version of Amazon, the one-stop shop for everyone from car parts and baby diapers to groceries and toothpaste. Now in an effort to significantly bolster its online presence and become Amazon's primary web competitor, Walmart has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Jet.com, a fast growing e-commerce portal, for $3 billion in cash plus another $300 million in Walmart shares to be paid over time, Walmart confirmed today. Walmart already conducts business online but not on the same scale as Amazon. The acquisition of Jet.com will build on and complement... Read more...
Drones aren't the only thing taking flight with Amazon's Prime branding plastered on the side. The world's largest online retailer now has its first ever branded cargo plane, a Boeing 767-300 that's operated by Amazon's air cargo provider Atlas Air. Amazon unveiled the aircraft during Seafair's Air Show in its hometown of Seattle. The airplane is named Amazon One. It's one of 40 that Amazon committed to leasing through air cargo partners Atlas Air and ATSG. As of right now there are 11 dedicated airplanes taking flight for Amazon with more to roll out over time. "Creating an air transportation... Read more...
One of the perks of being an Amazon Prime member is you get to stream a growing catalog of movies and television shows similar to Netflix. Unlike most rival streaming services, however, Amazon now lets you download flicks to a memory card for offline viewing via the Amazon Video app for Android devices, a new feature that comes courtesy of the latest update.The ability to download Prime movies and TV shows for offline viewing isn't entirely new. Previously it was possible to save streaming content to your phone or tablet's internal storage, so whether you were going on a cross country flight or... Read more...
By the numbers, Amazon's second annual Prime Day was a smashing success. Compared to last year's Prime Day, customers this time around ordered 60 percent more good on a worldwide basis, and 50 percent more in the U.S. alone. It was the biggest single shopping day ever for Amazon devices, with every device category outselling what they'd done during Amazon's inaugural Prime Day last July, including Fire TV, Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers, and Alexa-enabled gadgets. "Prime itself is the best deal in the history of shopping, and Prime Day was created as a special benefit exclusively for our Prime... Read more...
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