Amazon

Amazon Alexa funds voice controlled Music and Sprinkler systems

Amazon Alexa funds voice controlled Music and Sprinkler systems

Amazon's Alexa Fund has spread to two new companies, one for a smart Hi-fi music system, the other a smart sprinkler system. Musaic is a high-resolution wireless Hi-fi system that allows users to play music throughout their home connected with smart products - like smart lighting to set the mood. Rachio is a software and hardware company that aims to improve water efficiency for homes. Amazon's Alexa will allow both of these groups to develop smart voice-control systems for the future of the fully voice-controlled smart home.

Continue Reading

Amazon Prime’s streaming video service to launch in Japan

Amazon Prime’s streaming video service to launch in Japan

With Netflix having already announced that they're launching in Japan on September 2nd, Amazon has decided it's not going to wait for its rival to gain a lead in the local market for streaming video services. The US internet shopping giant has announced it will be debuting its Prime Video service in Japan sometime this fall. Like Netflix's service in the country, it's still not clear what kind of programs will be available for streaming, however Amazon has promised the lineup will include popular US movies and TV shows, their award-winning originals, plus native Japanese content.

Continue Reading

Fire Phone 2 unlikely as Amazon scales back consumer devices

Fire Phone 2 unlikely as Amazon scales back consumer devices

That headline probably doesn't come as a surprise. A successor to the highly disparaged Fire Phone might be highly unlikely now that Amazon has reportedly laid off dozens of engineers at its hush hush Lab126 hardware development center, particularly those that worked on the smartphone flop. But more than just Fire Phone, however, this still unconfirmed move puts into question the retail giant's capability to put out consumer devices that will stand the test of time, not to mention scrutiny, like its Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets.

Continue Reading

Amazon Underground: invading Google’s Android once again

Amazon Underground: invading Google’s Android once again

Amazon aims to invade Google's Android OS with their own collection of apps and games from the Amazon App Store. Inside the Amazon Underground app, Amazon suggests they'll be bringing "Actually Free" apps and games to lure the masses. This comes several months after a misunderstanding between Google and Amazon in which the Amazon app acted as an app store in and of itself - this isn't a feature that's allowed by Google for apps hosted by the Google Play app store.

Continue Reading

Amazon launches booze (and more) delivery service in Seattle

Amazon launches booze (and more) delivery service in Seattle

Amazon has brought its Prime Now service home, announcing its launch in Seattle, Redmond, Kirkland, and Bellevue. With Prime Now, the retailer’s Prime subscribers can get one-hour delivery for a variety of goods that would otherwise be ordered and shipped via post, including everything from a Kindle to a case of beer. Amazon says that “tens of thousands of items” are available for Prime Now delivery; the service has previously launched in other big cities and their surrounding regions, and will continue to expand into other cities in the future.

Continue Reading

Amazon will start rejecting Flash ads next month

Amazon will start rejecting Flash ads next month

The Internet’s collective move against Flash — the frequently vulnerable software that increasingly has more downsides than up — just gained a big new ally: Amazon. The Internet retailer announced this week that it will soon stop accepting Flash advertisements, making it the latest company to gravitate away from Adobe's longstanding and much-maligned software. This announcement follows news earlier this month that Yahoo’s advertisements were used to spread malware that, ultimately, used vulnerable versions of Flash for success.

Continue Reading

Amazon gives smart bulb devs the keys to Alexa’s voice

Amazon gives smart bulb devs the keys to Alexa’s voice

Amazon is further opening up its Alexa voice-control system, the engine at the heart of the Echo speaker, to smart lighting companies. The Alexa Skills Kit was launched back in June, breaking the cloud-based digital assistant out of Echo and allowing it to be embedded in new devices and taught third-party skills. Now, with a new Alexa Lighting API, those skills are expanding to deal with more complex sets of wireless bulbs.

Continue Reading

“Alexa, turn on SmartThings integration” says Amazon

“Alexa, turn on SmartThings integration” says Amazon

Amazon's cylindrical Echo home assistant is gaining another automation ability, hooking up with Samsung-owned SmartThings for the speech-controlled smart home. While it's not the first such integration we've seen Echo add in the months since Amazon launched the chipper speaker, it could well be one of the most far-reaching, thanks to SmartThings' broad compatibility with a huge - and growing - number of third-party automation devices.

Continue Reading

Hack turns Amazon Dash Buttons into do anything switches

Hack turns Amazon Dash Buttons into do anything switches

As seen previously, Amazon's new Dash Buttons are physical equivalents of 1-click checkout options, allowing Amazon Prime members to order common household items with a single press of the WiFi-connected device. But one programmer has come with a fairly simple hack that turns the $5 buttons into something that can track just about any type of data point. In a detailed post on Medium, Edward Benson explains how he turned a Dash Button into a system that collects data on his baby.

Continue Reading

Jeff Bezos comes out swinging after Amazon slam

Jeff Bezos comes out swinging after Amazon slam

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has come out swinging against criticisms that the company is a harsh task-master, calling for whistleblowers to single out any signs of ill-treatment. The response comes after a New York Times article, published this weekend, in which numerous current and former Amazon employees described an environment loaded with back-stabbing, unduly long hours, and a work ethos that forces out all but the most dedicated - or those willing to drop just about everything to put the retailer first.

Continue Reading

Amazon’s custom Bookerly font hits more Kindle models

Amazon’s custom Bookerly font hits more Kindle models

Amazon has released a set of updates for its Kindle devices that adds the company's own font, "Bookerly," following its debut earlier this year on the latest Paperwhite model. The font is more spacious and has been designed specifically for reading on e-ink displays, and replaces the previously used font "Caecilia." Among the other Kindle models getting the font update include the Kindle Voyage, Kindle Touch, Kindle 7th gen, and older versions of the Paperwhite. The updates also add several other enhancements to improve readability.

Continue Reading

Amazon Dash is a waste: here’s a better option

Amazon Dash is a waste: here’s a better option

A childhood spent watching The Jetsons teased us with one tantalizing aspect of our potential future: a home filled with buttons that, when pressed, cause things to happen. Food to appear. A robot to appear. Whatever that non-labelled unassuming button was programmed for, push it and it’ll happen. If you were like most kids watching the show, you wanted that future. Really, really wanted it. When do you finally get that magical button? That future is now upon us thanks to Amazon, only it looks like an advertisement and it is far too little, too late.

Continue Reading