Showing posts with label Amazon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amazon. Show all posts
Alexa, the voice assistant from Amazon, has increased its presence across various devices in our home - Bluetooth speakers (Echo), and smartphones (HTC U11). Now it is ready to enter the workplace in the form of "Alexa for Business."

Alexa-enabled Amazon devices

The idea of Alexa for Business is to provide employees access to the smart digital assistant so that they can delegate few tasks and make their days easy.

Trivial tasks like scheduling meetings, setting up a conference call, and verifying meeting room equipment and notifying the IT team in case something is not working can be handed-over to Alexa.

"Tens of millions of people already count on Alexa at home, in their cars, and on mobile devices to answer questions, provide news and information, and stay connected to friends and family," said Peter Hill from Amazon. "Alexa for Business extends the simplicity of voice control to the workplace while adding powerful tools to help businesses deploy and manage devices, create skills, and deliver voice-first experiences in a scalable way—all backed by the AWS Cloud."

The management console available for businesses will let them add users and assign skills across all Alexa-enabled devices on their network. As far as skills are concerned, companies like Cloudwatch, Salesforce, Splunk, Twine, and Zoom have already created a few.

I am a bit baffled by not seeing Microsoft on that list. Their Windows operating system along with the Office Suite is the most used combination in the business world. It would be great if Alexa could leverage that client base. I expect this to happen soon since Amazon has earlier successfully managed to cut a deal which involved Alexa and Cortana talking to each other.

In the starter kit for Alexa for Business, a business can opt for three Echos, or two Dots, or two Echo Shows.
Last year's Amazon Kindle Oasis has got an upgrade. The newer variant is slimmer than its predecessor and comes with a 7-inch display. Prominent newly-added features include water resistance, support for audiobooks, and ambient light sensor.

Amazon Kindle Oasis 2017

The screen is an inch larger, and the count of LED backlights has also increased from 10 to 12. The sharpness of 300 pixels-per-inch is retained. The much-needed ambient light sensor is added, thus making it capable of automatically adjusting light depending on the surrounding conditions.

The new Kindle Oasis is IPX8 certified, making it the first of its name to be resistant to water up to an hour and under 6.5 feet. There are two variants of the device - one with 8 GB internal storage, and the other with 32 gigs memory. More space means more books, including support for audiobooks. The only downside is that the audio output has to be relayed to a Bluetooth-enabled speaker or earpiece since there is no headphone jack.

Amazon Kindle Oasis 2017 rear

The design has been retained, including the much-talked-about sidebar. It is heavier (194 grams) because the body is made from a single piece of aluminum. Amazon is claiming a six-week recharge cycle on the new Kindle Oasis.

In the US, the 8 GB model is priced at $250, while the one with 32 GB memory costs $280 ($350 if cellular connectivity supported). There are two new covers as well, made of fabric (priced at $45) or leather (costs $60). They do not have those extra batteries but can be used as stands for hands-free usage. Pre-orders are open, and shipping starts at the end of the month.

In India, the 8 GB variant is priced at ₹21,999 and the 32 GB variant (WiFi and 3G) costs ₹28,999. The fabric cover is priced at ₹2,999, and the leather one costs ₹3,999. You can pre-order it now, and shipping starts from the 15th of the next month.
Smart Assistants are aimed at empowering their users to perform various day-to-day tasks conveniently. Major technology giants have already entered this domain. Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Microsoft Cortana, Google Assistant, and Samsung Bixby are the leading names that come to my mind when talking about digital assistants and Internet-of-Things devices. Various startups are also based on this concept, and much more is yet to come.

Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana will now talk to each other

Each of these voice assistants is capable of performing a standard set of tasks. Moreover, each one of them boasts of features unique to them. For instance, it is easy to shop on Amazon and control smart home devices from Alexa than from Siri or Cortana. Alternatively, it is easy to make Skype calls and perform tasks on Office suite from Cortana when compared to Bixby or Google Assistant.

Depending on the ecosystem you are in, you may opt for the most compatible assistant, i.e., one from the same brand. If you own all devices from Apple, you will undoubtedly go with Siri. If you own Windows-based handheld and computers, Cortana will be the choice.

However, the irony is that these virtual assistants are so unconnected from each other in this connected world. You cannot avail the services of one Smart Assistant while owning the other. Not anymore.

Amazon and Microsoft have announced that Alexa and Cortana will be able to talk to and understand each other, thereby opening many new possibilities for Echo and Windows 10 users. You can say "Alexa, open Cortana," or "Cortana, open Alexa," and as expected, the other voice assistant will appear to serve you.

Amazon says the two virtual assistants will start talking to each other later in the year.
Amazon is most likely the first name which comes to one's mind when talking about e-commerce stores. It is perceived as a company that wants to be able to sell anything and everything to its customers. They have also entered the groceries and fresh food market recently. Given the amount of inventory they need to store at any given moment in time, they need a vast amount of space. Additionally, they also need a mechanism to keep deliveries as fast and accurate as possible.

Amazon patents drone-delivery towers for cities
Amazon patents drone-delivery towers for cities (Credit: USPTO)

The problems

The first problem is more-or-less solved by maintaining massive warehouses. However, these godowns are usually located on the outskirts of the city. The company tried to address the second issue by considering drone-based delivery. However, that would be cost effective only if the warehouses were near to densely populated areas. A recent patent aims at solving this problem.

The idea

The idea is to set up big, multi-level, cylinder-shaped drone-delivery hives in the cities. Trucks or other road transport vehicles will deliver the goods to these hives at the truck bays around the ground level. Robots will then load and configure the delivery drones, which will enter and exit through several windows present at the sides of this structure for last mile delivery.

The windows will be secure to prevent unauthorized access. How will this be implemented, or how secure this will be is unclear at the moment. Also, it does not make sense for a third-party to fly-in their drone and get captured! The launching bays at each window will be capable of throwing the drones to get the initial trajectory and speed boost, so the machines do not have to take-off themselves. The flight control system will prioritize most of the flights at the top levels of the structure to minimize the annoying buzzing sound around the ground level.

The future of delivery is here, well at least the concept is.

Source: USPTO via Silicon Beat
Amazon India is back with Great Indian Sale of the year. It runs till May 14. As is the case with any sale, massive discounts are offered to lure customers.

Amazon Great Indian Sale 2017

Few such offers are great, and this post will contain the best-of-the-best offers to help you grab some good stuff at dirt-cheap prices. Needless to say, we will be only covering deals related to everything tech. You can still visit Great Indian Sale 2017 for offers across various other domains.


E-book readers

Fitness trackers

Home appliances

  • Bajaj 17-litre microwave oven for ₹3,995 (MRP ₹5,290)
  • Bionaire 82-Watt air purifier for ₹3,199 (MRP ₹8,595)
  • Blue Star 1.5 ton split AC for ₹28,990 (MRP ₹36,800)
  • Bosch 7 kg fully-automatic front loading washing machine for ₹29,490 (MRP ₹39,499)
  • Bosch Free-Standing 12 place settings dishwasher for ₹37,099 (MRP ₹40,999)
  • BPL 1.5 ton split AC for ₹23,490 (MRP ₹33,900)
  • BPL 7.2 kg fully-automatic top loading washing machine for ₹12,399 (MRP ₹16,990)
  • Haier 5.8 kg fully-automatic top loading washing machine for ₹10,290 (MRP ₹14,990)
  • Hyundai 7.2 kg semi-automatic top loading washing machine for ₹7,490 (MRP ₹9,790)
  • IFB 25-litre microwave oven for ₹10,599 (MRP ₹15,190)
  • IFB 6.5 kg fully-automatic top loading washing machine for ₹15,990 (MRP ₹18,490)
  • Intex 6.2 kg semi-automatic top loading washing machine for ₹6,470 (MRP ₹9,000)
  • Kenstar 1.5 ton split AC for ₹23,490 (MRP ₹28,990)
  • LG 28-litre microwave for ₹12,300 (MRP ₹13,990)
  • Noble Skiodo 8 kg semi-automatic top loading washing machine for ₹8,930 (MRP ₹8,999)
  • Onida 5.5 kg fully-automatic front loading washing machine for ₹14,990 (MRP ₹20,000)
  • Samsung 23-litre microwave oven for ₹5,985 (MRP ₹6,990)
  • Samsung 6.2 kg fully-automatic top loading washing machine for ₹13,490 (MRP ₹15,790)
  • Whirlpool 7 kg fully-automatic top loading washing machine for ₹15,190 (MRP ₹19,122)


Music accessories





Storage devices


P.S.: Bookmark this page as we will be updating the deals throughout the offer period. You can also subscribe to receive them directly in your inbox.
The festival of Diwali is less than a month away, and the three e-commerce giants in the country have already begun sales for the same. Since this is the time of the year when most Indians buy stuff for themselves and/or their loved ones, these sales offer massive discounts to lure people.

Best deals across all e-commerce platforms

Few such offers are great, and this post will contain the best-of-the-best offers to help you grab some good stuff at dirt-cheap prices. Needless to say, we will be only covering deals related to everything tech. You can still visit Amazon Great Indian Festival, Flipkart Big Billion Days, and Snapdeal Unbox Diwali Sale for offers across various other domains.

E-book readers

Games and accessories

Music accessories

Power banks





P.S.: Bookmark this page as we will be updating the deals throughout the offer period. You can also subscribe to receive them directly in your inbox.
The rumor mill around Apple's iPhone 7 has been running since days. The frequency of such rumors has increased since the date of launch had been announced to be September 7th, i.e., today.

Amazon confirms iPhone 7 will come with dual-camera

Now, just minutes before the official launch, Amazon US has confirmed a few stories. This is intentional, or just a goof-up is a separate topic for debate.

On thing that the picture clearly confirms is the presence of two lenses for the primary camera setup. There is also a link for "Bluetooth headphones" for the same, partially confirming the news about the absence of 3.5 mm headphone jack from the new iPhone. The name "iPhone 7" is also used in the listings, thus verifying the same.

P.S.: The image seems to have been removed by Amazon now. The screenshot above refers to the one that appeared there.

Source: Gizmodo
Amazon had today launched Kindle Oasis in India. It is the eighth generation of Kindle, the famous e-reader series by the American giant. It features an incredibly thin and light design. Its USP is the charging cover with a dual-battery system (more on this later).

Kindle Oasis

The Oasis features a thin touch 300 ppi Paperwhite display, and an ergonomic grip. The built-in front light has 60% more LEDs when compared to previous versions. The device has a metal-plated featherweight polymer frame. The metal plating is done by the process of structural electroplating, thus making the device lightweight.

The reader comes in an entirely different shape than its predecessors. The center of gravity is shifted to the user's palm. This ensures that the device rests in the hand, much like the spine of a book. A built-in accelerometer detects which hand is being used, and automatically rotates the page and the physical page turn buttons accordingly.

Kindle Oasis rear

The cover fits closely around the bezel of the device. It is a smart cover, which means it turns the Oasis' screen on/off when flipped. Oasis features a dual-battery system, one in the device itself and the other in its leather cover! If the cover is connected to the device, the battery in the cover automatically charges the device's battery. Both the batteries can be charged together via the wall socket.

Kindle Oasis weighs 131 grams. It is 3.4 mm thick at its thinnest point, and is available for pre-order at a price of ₹23,999 ($360 approx.) for the WiFi-only variant, and ₹27,999 ($420 approx.) for the WiFi-cum-3G variant.