Amazon’s Prime Day Sales Seen Sharply Exceeding 2019 Level

Online retailer Amazon’s annual Prime Day shopping extravaganza starts at midnight U.S. Eastern Oct. 13 and sales are expected to exceed those of last year’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined.

The Seattle tech provider and online retailer’s event, which runs two full days, could net $9.9 billion in total sales, eMarketer estimates. 

That figure is more than 38% above last year’s Prime Day. Amazon doesn’t release sales figures for the event, but researchers pegged last year’s sales at roughly $7.16 billion.

J.P. Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth more conservatively estimates Amazon will take in $7.5 billion of revenue from the event this year, up 42% from an estimated $5.3 billion in 2019. 

“The biggest difference this year is that Prime Day is running three months later than its typical mid-July timing. [And] as such Amazon is promoting the event as an early start to holiday shopping vs. Prime Day’s typical

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Amazon’s ‘Crucible’ Is Officially Dead

Perhaps it was just bad timing. Perhaps if Amazon Game Studios had released Crucible sooner, it would have been a hit.

Or perhaps it was marketing—or the lack thereof—that sunk the quirky competitive shooter, giving it one of the shortest lifespans in AAA game development.

Crucible was released on May 20th of this year, was promptly delisted from Steam in July and returned to Closed Beta status. Now, Amazon is now pulling the proverbial plug on November 9th when servers will officially go dark. That’s not quite half a year.

Then again, maybe Amazon simply shouldn’t have named its competitive shooter after the competitive mode in Destiny 2—a far better, more polished game. Just a thought.

Don’t get me wrong, when I previewed Crucible just before its launch, I actually enjoyed it quite a lot. Not enough to make it a regular part of my

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Amazon’s Blink Indoor is a decent, battery-powered security camera for inside your house

This new, $80 Blink Indoor camera system is the indoor counterpart to Blink’s new weatherproof outdoor camera. It shares a similar design with the outdoor model, minus the weather-resistant housing, as well as the same set up, features and performance. That makes it a fine option, particularly if you want the mobility of a battery-powered indoor camera. But the Amazon company’s decision to ditch its excellent free cloud storage plan for the new Blink Subscription Plan is disappointing. 

Like

  • The $80 one-camera kit is pretty affordable.

Don’t Like

  • Blink now charges for cloud video storage.

I’m an advocate for free cloud storage in general, despite many companies (like Nest and Ring) never offering it, but it’s even worse when a company offers it and then gets rid of it later. 

As I mentioned in the Blink Outdoor review, Blink is offering a free trial of its cloud

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Amazon’s Josh Miele and Anne Toth talk Alexa and the future of accessibility at Sight Tech Global

When Alexa launched six years ago, no one imagined that by today there would be hundreds of millions of Alexa-enabled devices or that Alexa would become part of so many lives. For people who are blind or visually impaired, voice assistants are a huge convenience, whether you are calling a loved one, cooking a meal, checking a sports score, or asking for the weather or time. This fall, Alexa introduced personalization and conversational capabilities that are steps toward a more human-like, digital factotum.

It’s exciting to announce that Amazon’s Josh Miele, Principal Accessibility Researcher at Amazon’s Lab126, and Anne Toth, Director of Amazon’s Alexa Trust, will be speaking at Sight Tech Global, a virtual, global event that addresses how rapid advances in technology, many of them AI-based, will influence the development of accessibility and assistive technology for people who are blind or visually impaired.

The show,

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Amazon’s palm reader offers a new way to pay at stores

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Palm reading has arrived at two Amazon Go stores.


Amazon

Amazon already got rid of checkout lines at its brick-and-mortar Amazon Go stores. Now it wants to make getting into those stores easier too. Last week, the retail giant started letting people use its latest biometric tech — a palm reader dubbed Amazon One — to enter two Amazon Go locations in Seattle. Amazon unveiled the new tech ahead of its annual Prime Day shopping event, which will take place Oct. 13-14 this year.

“Amazon One is a fast, convenient, contactless way for people to use their palm to make everyday activities like paying at a store, presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or badging into work more effortless,” Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s vice president of physical retail and technology, said Sept. 29 in a blog post. “The service is designed to be highly secure

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Amazon’s Halo is the perfect fit for its healthcare strategy. Here’s why

When Amazon unveiled the Halo — a small, plain health-and-wellness wearable — it entered a market already crowded with Apple Watches, Fitbits, Xiaomis, Huaweis, and more. With an empire that spans everything from cloud containers to expensive organic groceries, why does Amazon really want to enter the crowded wearables market?

Certainly Amazon hasn’t been shy of launching new hardware into new markets over the past decade. It cornered the market in ebook readers with the Kindle, made tablets cheap with the Fire range, kickstarted the smart speaker craze with the Echo, and even launched an unloved and quickly binned smartphone. So far, it’s stayed away from wearables devices — that is, until now.

According to tech analyst Gartner, the market for health wearables is expected to be worth $87bn by 2023. The biggest fitness-focused wearable manufacturer, Fitbit, sold 16 million units during the last financial year. Amazon is launching the

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Survey Says: Shoppers Might Just Love Amazon’s Contactless Checkout Technology

It would be easy to chalk up technological developments from Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) as par for the course. The company is perpetually throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks.

A recent product unveiling, however, may mean far more than most realize.

The new device is the Amazon One, which can be used for contactless payments and is up and running in two Amazon Go stores. The device facilitates a completely hands-free interaction. Amazon says the palm print reader could also be utilized for things like granting access to restricted areas or in place of a loyalty card. Amazon is using it for its own purposes right now, but plans to sell the tech to third parties in the future.

Amazon One puts the e-commerce giant smack in the middle of a contactless shopping market that’s worth billions already, but could double in size in five years  now that consumers

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Is Amazon’s new flying drone camera private? What we know about Ring Always Home Cam

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The Ring Always Home Cam is a security drone that flies around the inside of your house.


Amazon

What if your security camera wasn’t fixed to a wall, but free to move around your house and check from room to room while you’re away from home? Does that sound wonderful, creepy or something in between? However you feel about it, it’s the premise of Amazon’s new Ring Always Home Cam, a security camera that’s — get this — also a drone that flies around the inside of your house shooting video it then can stream or upload to the cloud.

Wait, what?

You read that right. Amazon announced its new flying security camera alongside updated Echo and Echo Dot smart speakers and a mailbox sensor, but this out-of-the-box approach

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Every new Alexa feature announced at Amazon’s fall hardware event: Hunches, Guard Plus and more

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Amazon

Amazon’s annual hardware event has come and gone, with a slew of product announcements, from a brand new Echo speaker and Echo Show display, to a cloud-based gaming platform. But the star of Amazon’s smart home is, as always, Alexa. Amazon’s voice assistant continues to expand its reach, connecting with over 140,000 smart home devices, and boasting more than 100 million Alexa-compatible devices installed across its user base. But Alexa’s power isn’t just in its rapidly growing scale and ever-expanding reach.

When I spoke to Daniel Rausch, Amazon’s vice president of smart home and Alexa mobile, before the hardware event, he said Alexa is becoming more independent too. Alexa will soon be able to act on Hunches without asking, to listen for and react to sounds other than a wake word, and to protect your home more actively with an upgrade to Alexa Guard.


Now

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Meet Amazon’s Biggest Bull

It is hard to argue with Amazon’s (AMZN) performance in 2020. Even amidst a global pandemic and a struggling economy, all the cards have fallen into place for the e-commerce behemoth. Amazon has seen revenue soar during the viral outbreak and so has its stock. Shares are up by 70% on a year-to-date basis.

However, one analyst thinks the Street has got it all wrong on Amazon. So, is there a bear among the long list of Wall Street Amazon bulls?

On the contrary. Pivotal analyst Michael Levine argues the Street is undervaluing Amazon’s SOTP (sum of the parts). In fact, the analyst calls Amazon “the best mega cap on a multiyear basis” and has just increased his price target to a Street high of $4,500. Levine, therefore, expects shares to add another 43% from current levels. No need to add, but the analyst’s rating stays a Buy.

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