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英语新闻:亚马逊物联网战略逐渐成型

2015-04-08    来源:财富中文网    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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英语新闻:亚马逊物联网战略逐渐成型

英语新闻:

Amazon AMZN -0.66% today unveiled Dash Buttons, an easy way for customers to order select bulk goods via an internet-connected button, and yesterday launched Home Services, an on-demand installation and handyman service. Combined, they show that the e-commerce giant has a clear understanding of how the Internet-of-things will benefit its business. And it isn’t going to be shy about capitalizing on connectivity to build its bottom line.
Dash Buttons are an adaptation of Amazon’s voice-controlled Dash ordering system that lets people speak to order new grocery items, and will allow Amazon Prime members to order one item with the push of an WiFi-based connected button. Amazon has 17 brands (including Bounty and Tide) on board at launch, so folks can re-order their bulk goods with a button-click.
Amazon also has advertised a developer program that allows companies to build re-ordering buttons directly into their own hardware. Listed on that page are partners such as Whirlpool (re-order laundry supplies), Brother (ink and toner), Brita (water filters) and Quirky (which is launching a line of appliances including a fancy pour-ver coffee machine). An Amazon spokesman says the first Dash-enabled devices will start showing up in the fall.
So what Amazon has is a retrofit strategy for connecting smart appliances to its e-commerce operations and a future-facing strategy for the coming flood of connected devices. And all of this is geared around making buying products from Amazon as easy as possible. The plan already was somewhat validated by the popular Internet-of-things startup If This Then That, which in February launched a one-button app that let users assign one task to a single button. For example, one of my one-button tasks was was posting a message to Slack whenever I left my desk.

 

 

The simplicity of one-button tasks are appealing, although it could lead to a mess of packages ending up at people’s doors if Amazon doesn’t try to minimize waste on its end, by grouping shipments together when possible. People on Twitter seem mostly concerned about pets and small children playing with the Dash Buttons and ordering multiples of their Kraft Macaroni and Cheese boxes, although Amazon notes that if the button is pressed more than once, the order doesn’t go through on the second time, and you’ll get a smartphone notification about it.
Amazon also recently launched Home Services, following up on last year’s opening of a home automation e-store devoted to connected gadgets for the home — many of which require a professional installer. So now Amazon can sell these devices along with the person who can install them.
It also is focusing on maintenance, via a network of service providers that it can call on for its network of suppliers or for its own planned connected home play –something I’ve previously advised companies interested in the connected home to do as a way of closing the loop. Because while data and the algorithms that will be used to detect when there is actually a problem in the home are going to be an essential ingredient, we will still need the people on the ground to fix those problems for a long time to come.
So far, Amazon is impressing me with its understanding of how the Internet-of-things can affect its business. With Dash, it’s making an offensive play to ring up more sales as devices come online. With Amazon Home Services, it’s making a defensive play as other large companies try to become more vertically integrated. My only question is where does the voice-activated Amazon Echo speaker fit into all of this? Is it, like the original Dash, more of a pilot devices designed to gather usage data to build other products, or is it an integral element for home control as I’m hoping?

bulk: adj.大批的,大量的; 散装的
handyman:n.受雇做杂事的人,做零活的人; 能工巧匠
toner: n.调色剂,增色剂; 色粉; 调色液
water filter:滤水器; 滤水池; 水滤器
retrofit:n.式样翻新,花样翻新
algorithm: n.运算法则; 演算法; 计算程序
integral: adj.完整的; 积分的; 必须的

(财富中文网)


4月1日,亚马逊发布了一键下单按钮Dash Buttons,通过这款联网的按钮,消费者可以轻松预订某种特定货品。而就在之前一天,该公司推出了家庭服务平台Home Services,顾客可以按需定制安装、维修等服务。这两项业务表明,作为电子商务巨头,亚马逊已清楚认识到物联网将给自身业务带来怎样的好处,并毫不犹豫地开始放手利用网络互连来创造利润。
Dash Buttons按钮是亚马逊的声控下单设备Dash的一个衍生品,支持用户通过语音下单,订购日杂商品,而且亚马逊Prime会员只需轻轻一按以WiFi联网的Dash Buttons,,即可订购某种商品。这款刚刚问世的产品覆盖了汰渍等17个品牌,只要按下相应的按钮,用户就可重复下单。
此外,亚马逊已经开始大肆宣传其开发者项目。这个项目允许各厂商在自己的硬件产品里直接内置重复下单按钮。目前的合作伙伴包括惠而浦洗衣机(再订购洗衣用品)、兄弟打印机(墨水和碳粉)、Brita净水器和Quirky手冲咖啡机等产品。亚马逊一位发言人表示,首批具有此项功能的产品将在今年秋季问世。
也就是说,为了应对未来大量联网设备上市的浪潮,亚马逊已经调整了战略,以便将智能设备和其电商业务连接在一起。而所有这些都围绕着一个核心,那就是尽量让购物变得简单。这项计划在一定程度上已经被热门物联网创业公司If This Then That验证过了: 今年2月, If This Then That推出了一款一键触发应用,功能是让用户把一项任务绑定到一个按键或按钮上。比如说,我绑定的一键任务之一是当我离开办公桌后,在企业通信工具Slack上发布提示信息。
尽管一键下单的便捷性令人着迷,但是如果亚马逊不设法减少终端的浪费、尽可能地合并发货,这个功能或许会导致用户家门口被杂乱的包裹堆满。Twitter上的反应表明,人们最担心家里的宠物或小孩子乱动Dash Buttons,重复订购卡夫通心粉或芝士粉等商品。但亚马逊声明,多次按动下单按钮生成的订单并不会即刻通过,用户的智能手机将先收到相应的下单提示信息。
另一项亚马逊刚推出的Home Services服务也与它先前的业务有关。去年,亚马逊建立了家庭自动化电子商铺,旨在向家庭用户出售联网设备。而这些设备均需要由专业人士安装。现在有了Home Services,亚马逊在销售这些设备的同时,也开始向用户提供专业的安装服务。
这项服务的另一个重点是维修,它通过一个服务提供商网络来实现,服务对象则包括亚马逊的供应商及其计划中的互联家庭。此前我曾建议,有意于互联家庭市场的企业可以这样做,以便形成完整的业务链。我这样说的原因在于,要想即时发现家里出了问题,数据和算法固然必不可少,但在今后很长一段时间里,仍需要有人来切实解决这些问题。
截至目前,亚马逊对物联网将如何影响自身业务的理解让人印象深刻。随着各种设备开始联网,亚马逊可以借助Dash硬件主动出击,提升销售额。同时,在其他大公司进一步进行业务垂直整合之际,Home Services让亚马逊有了抗击打能力。对我来说,唯一的问题在于亚马逊的语音助手硬件Echo怎样和这些服务项目融合在一起?它是不是和原来的购物助手Dash一样,更多地是一款引导性性产品,用于收集使用数据,以便制造其他产品?还是说,它和我希望的一样,是智能家居控制中不可或缺的一环?



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