‘Amazon Primed’ is a short recap of the larger stories that dominated the headlines this week surrounding everyone’s favourite cardboard abuser, Amazon. Subscribe to ‘What Did Amazon Do This Week’ if you want the full, deep look at what Amazon is doing every week, called ‘Obsessive…in the very best way.’ Head over to www.whatdidamazondothisweek.com for more details.
Amazon’s big news this week surrounded the future of drone delivery which they say could be ‘within months’ but the law and public opinion aren’t in line with that. The device itself boasts an impressive helicopter slash X-wing design, Amazon has to make these look fluffy so they’ll not flag too many red lights. Imagine a sky full of these devices and likely larger ones (since Amazon cannot live on razor and toothpaste delivery alone) and you start to see where the issues could be (surveillance [does ‘Rekognition’ look terrifying enough now?], overcrowding, impact):
The technology Amazon is using for its drone is improving rapidly, but many complications remain before such devices are approved for routine operations, said John Hansman, an aeronautics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has studied robotic flight.
“It’s a bold statement to say that you’ve thought of everything in terms of your safety analysis,’’ Hansman said. “I don’t want to say they can’t do it. I would say I have a lot of questions about all the conditions and have they thought of all of them and can they handle them.’’
Still, Amazon’s confidence in the drone shows this new segment of the aviation industry is rapidly maturing and working closer than ever with regulators.
Bloomberg has more details.
Amazon isn’t having an easy time of late in China nor the US and so has turned its focus to India where the company just pumped over $400 million to infuse the area with cash so it can grow and challenge the incumbents. A fight that’s not getting any easier and has no end in sight:
Even for a heavily funded company like Amazon, India has emerged as a very competitive market in recent years. In addition to Flipkart getting the backing of global retail giant Walmart, startups such as BigBasket, Grofers, Swiggy and Dunzo are quickly changing the way millions of Indians shop. And they have successfully courted major backers with deep pockets, too.
And then there is the ever-lingering Reliance Industries, the biggest industrial house in India owned by Mukesh Ambani, the richest man in the country. Earlier this year, Ambani said that Reliance Retail, the largest retailer in India. will join forces with Reliance Jio, a telecom operator that has disrupted the local market, to create an e-commerce platform.
TechCrunch has the story.
Amazon also launched ‘SnapStyle’ this week, a Shazam for clothes as many have dubbed it. While no-ones socks were really blown off, as the Verge point out, this move does show how focused Amazon is on getting the fashion market right for its audiences:
Amazon hasn’t exactly proved it’s a fashion guru, either. Back in 2017 it introduced the Echo Look, an AI-powered camera that gave users fashion recommendations. In our review, we found the software regularly made mistakes, failing to identify different outfits in images and churning out the same tips over and over (it particularly liked our reviewers’ jacket).
But the launch of StyleSnap shows Amazon isn’t going to give up on the fashion business that easily, and the company believes its expertise in artificial intelligence will give it an edge over competitors. It just needs to find the right look.