What’s Next Up for Amazon?
If you haven’t heard of Amazon.com and all of the gadgets and gizmos it offers, you’ve either been living underneath a rock or you’re completely off the grid of society. The internet superstore, Amazon.com, is taking not only the retail market by storm with their low prices, handy prime membership benefits, and the sheer volume of products sold, but now they’ve moved rapidly into the technology sector. With the addition of their e-reader, Amazon broke into the very picky electronics and technology field without knocking. They’ve continued releasing increasingly well-received items over the years since the Kindle’s inception, and have many people questioning what could possibly be next.
While Amazon plays their cards extremely close to the vest, frequenters of the online store can rest assured something new is certainly coming. However, it would seem that Amazon is content on perfecting their current content in favor of releasing a new item for the hot summer season. Their most recent release, the Amazon Echo, has been making headlines with its perfected system, and all of the additional features that are now part of the package, and their guiding light, Alexa, may just start to rival Apple’s Siri.
The birth of Amazon.com happened in 1994 in Seattle, when the CEO trademarked a company called Cadabra. After some misunderstandings regarding the business’s name, the website went live as Amazon.com in 1995. The inspiration for the name came from the CEO’s desire to make his store the biggest in the world, considering that the Amazon river is the biggest in the world as well. It would seem his goals were somewhat realistic as Amazon was named one of the most valuable companies in the United States, surpassing even Walmart. With the establishment of basic equipment under the name AmazonBasics, this online superstore has also cornered the low-end market for electronic needs.
With their exclusive Prime service, available for under $100 a year, Amazon skyrocketed to success. This service offered unlimited photo uploads to computer or mobile device, a library of video, audio, and literary content, and free two-day shipping on any items shipped from and sold by Amazon. Many buyers balked at the price in the beginning, but when measured against the alternatives, they quickly figured out that, in most cases, the subscription service pays for itself very quickly. Even after the less than stellar Prime Day, which promised better sales than Black Friday, Prime membership has continued to increase.
Last year, Amazon released the Echo, a hands-free, voice-controlled system that operates, not only, as a speaker, but also features Alexa, a voice service similar to Siri, by Apple. The difference between Alexa and its competitors Siri, Google Now, and Cortana is that she doesn’t need to have a smartphone for access. Users are able to access the virtual personal assistant with only the Echo. Recently, Amazon added the Echo dot, a simple expansion system for the Echo speaker. Alexa can not only read users the news, function as an alarm clock, and play music, but she is also able to add items to your Amazon wishlists or purchase them via 1-Click.
The latest addition to the Amazon line-up is the Tap. This ultra-portable speaker also allows users access to Alexa’s services, while providing nine hours of playback in a compact package. Owners of the Tap are able to access all their streaming music services on the go, using dual Dolby speakers that promise quality sound. Alexa’s services can be used to obtain a ride from Uber, find out the latest headlines, or even open your garage door. The Tap is due to launch at the end of March 2016.
Even considering the out and out failure of Amazon’s Fire Phone, the company continues to grow exponentially in the face of naysayers, even adding drone technology to their delivery system. When the company first came online, they had their naysayers, and even more so when they established the Prime service. However, they have few detractors now, as even Apple’s Steve Wozniak is singing the praises of the Echo system. There’s no telling what may come next from this online superstore’s idea bank, but it’s a pretty sure thing that it’s going to be awesome!