Shoppers scan the Amazon Go app on their mobile devices as they enter the Amazon Go store on Jan. 22, 2018, in Seattle. Stephen Brashear/Getty Images On Dec. 5, 2016, Amazon uploaded a video to YouTube unveiling the company's vision of a new type of grocery store called Amazon Go. Shoppers would hold up a smartphone to a scanner before walking in. Once inside, they could wander around and pick up whichever items they wanted to purchase. Cameras and other sensors would detect each item the shoppers picked up. They'd even note when someone replaced an item on a shelf. To complete the transaction, the shopper would just have to walk out the door. An automated system would then charge their purchases to their Amazon accounts. There'd be no cashiers, no lines and no more scanning. All just grab and go. After more than a year of tests, which included solving some tricky problems, Amazon officially opened the first of these grocery stores to the public. The company has been quiet about … [Read more...] about Know Before You Amazon Go That Your Privacy Will Be Low
Alexa can keep you company just about anywhere in your home. Amazon.com Inc. Amazon Echo might look like a cylindrical Bluetooth speaker, and it is in part. The device has built-in omnidirectional speakers that play music and other audio. But it does so much more than that. Like smartphones with voice-recognition capabilities, Echo is yet another step toward the voice-controlled computers of science fiction we've been seeing in television and movies for decades. You can ask the gadget to play music, tell you the weather forecast, add to your to-do list, read you your schedule or the news, and much more. If you have compatible smart-home devices, you can tell Echo to dim the lights or turn appliances on or off. By design, you interact with the device hands-free so that you don't have to stop everything and fumble with your phone or get to a computer (although you do need to access an app or website to configure some of its settings). Want to listen to some Beethoven while you fix … [Read more...] about How Amazon Echo Works
Amazon's vice president of Kindle, Peter Larsen, displays the Amazon Fire TV, which allows users to stream video, music, photos, games and more through their television. Andrew Burton/Getty Image Now, when American families hit the couch at 8 p.m., the TV is no longer king. Dad might be watching the big game live on ESPN, but little Becky and Billy are huddled around the iPad, streaming the latest Pixar movie from Netflix. Meanwhile, mom is on her laptop binge-viewing the entire season of her favorite reality show. According to a 2013 survey, 51 percent of Americans between the ages of 13 and 54 watch a streaming TV show or movie every week [source: GFK]. While some are happy to watch them on laptops, tablets or smartphones, a growing share wants to watch streaming video on their big-screen TVs. For years, viewers have been streaming shows from Netflix to their TVs using gaming consoles like the Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox. But more recently, several technology companies … [Read more...] about How Amazon Fire TV Works
People opposed to Amazon's plan to locate a headquarters in Long Island City (Queens) protest outside of an Amazon bookstore on Nov. 26, 2018, in New York City. They're concerned with the effect that Amazon's HQ2 could have on local affordable housing. Stephanie Keith/Getty Images Amazon recently announced the winners of its year-long, "The Bachelor"-style search for the location of its second headquarters, known as HQ2. City and state governments were tripping over themselves to lure Amazon and its mega-billionaire CEO, Jeff Bezos, with sweetheart development deals. In the end, it was New York City and Arlington, Virginia, that walked away with the grand prize, two new Amazon office complexes and 50,000 promised jobs. As part of the deal with New York alone, Amazon will receive an estimated $2.8 billion in tax breaks and other business incentives. That's the equivalent of New York taxpayers paying Amazon $112,000 for each of the 25,000 jobs the tech giant has promised to create … [Read more...] about The Future of Corporate Megadeals After Amazon HQ2
Independent booksellers, like Unabridged Bookstore on Broadway Avenue in Chicago, Illinois, once thought to have gone the way of the dinosaur, are making a surprising comeback. The Washington Post/Getty Images It's called the retail apocalypse. No zombies yet, but thanks to the rising dominance of Amazon and its infinite inventory of inexpensive items (plus free shipping with Prime!), traditional brick-and-mortar stores are struggling to survive. In the last few years alone, dozens of national brands have declared bankruptcy or shuttered their stores altogether, including mall staples like Toys"R"Us, The Limited, Radio Shack, Claire's and Payless. But one long-dismissed business model has unexpectedly thrived in the Amazon age: independent bookstores. If the last time you thought about the plight of independent bookstores was the 1998 rom-com "You've Got Mail," you've got some catching up to do. When Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks starred as a boutique bookshop owner (her) and the CEO of … [Read more...] about Indie Bookstores Defied Amazon. Who’s Next?