Friday October 18, 2019
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Amazon Unveils its Next-Gen Prime Air Drone to Deliver Packages to Customers

Wire detection is one of the hardest challenges for low-altitude flights

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Prime Day sales are as large if not larger than Christmas sales and generally Amazon stock price gets a boost into this period. VOA

By Nishant Arora

Upping the ante for its rivals, Amazon on Wednesday unveiled its latest and Next-Gen Prime Air drone that can fly up to 24 km and deliver packages under 2.5 kg to customers in less than 30 minutes.

The drone would start shipping packages within months, starting with the US.

“With the help of our world-class fulfillment and delivery network, we expect to scale Prime Air both quickly and efficiently, delivering packages via drone to customers within months,” Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, told the audience at its “Re: Mars” event here.

A hybrid design, it can do vertical takeoffs and landings – like a helicopter.

“It’s efficient and aerodynamic – like an airplane. It also easily transitions between these two modes – from vertical-mode to airplane mode, and back to vertical mode,” informed Wilke.

The new Prime Air drone employs diverse sensors and advanced algorithms, such as multi-view stereo vision, to detect static objects like a chimney.

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A delivery person pushes a cart full of Amazon boxes in New York City, U.S., Feb. 14, 2019. VOA

To detect moving objects, like a paraglider or helicopter, it uses proprietary computer-vision and machine learning algorithms.

The drone needs a small area around the delivery location that is clear of people, animals, or obstacles.

“We determine this using explainable stereo vision in parallel with sophisticated AI algorithms trained to detect people and animals from above,” emphasised the Amazon executive.

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Wire detection is one of the hardest challenges for low-altitude flights.

“Through the use of computer-vision techniques we’ve invented, our drones can recognize and avoid wires as they descend into, and ascend out of, a customer’s yard,” said Wilke. (IANS)

Next Story

Now Pay Bills on Amazon Pay While Speaking to Alexa

Once approved, Alexa will complete the transaction using Amazon Pay, and send a notification to the customer's registered mobile phone number, confirming the transaction

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Alexa
The integration of Amazon Pay with Alexa will help reduce both time and effort for customers who use Amazon Pay for bill payments and repeat similar transactions every month. Pixabay

In an India-first feature, Amazon on Wednesday announced that users can now pay their utility bills with Amazon Pay just by speaking to its digital assistant Alexa in the country.

The new Alexa feature supports payment of bills across categories such as electricity, water, post-paid mobile, cooking gas, broadband, DTH and more.

Users of Amazon Echo, Fire TV Stick and other devices with Alexa built-in, can just give commands such as “Alexa, pay my mobile bill” or “Alexa, pay my electricity bill” to get started.

“The integration of Amazon Pay with Alexa will help reduce both time and effort for customers who use Amazon Pay for bill payments and repeat similar transactions every month.

“We are excited to share that this is an India-first feature which Alexa customers in India can enjoy before any other international customers,” Puneesh Kumar, Country Manager for Alexa Experiences and Devices, said in a statement.

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The new Alexa feature supports payment of bills across categories such as electricity, water, post-paid mobile, cooking gas, broadband, DTH and more for Amazon Pay. Pixabay

Alexa will retrieve the amount due for bills from their registered Amazon account and ask for customer confirmation before processing the payment. Customers can enable a voice pin on the Alexa app to make transactions more secure.

Once approved, Alexa will complete the transaction using Amazon Pay, and send a notification to the customer’s registered mobile phone number, confirming the transaction.

ALSO READ: Indian Army to Use New System of Digitised Records of Officers

Alexa will also send a link to register their bill details on the Amazon shopping app before proceeding for the payment, said the company. (IANS)