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Amazon’s ‘Echo Show’ Smart Display Now in India

Amazon Echo Show is available on Amazon.in with cashback and other offers

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Security guards stand at the reception desk of the Amazon India office in Bengaluru, India, Aug. 14, 2015. VOA

Expanding its hardware portfolio in the country, Amazon on Tuesday launched — Amazon Echo Show — its new offering in the smart display category with a 10-inch HD display, built-in smart home hub and a speaker system for Rs 22,999 in India.

The smart display comes with a 5MP front camera and Dolby sound processing, the company said in a statement.

“Echo Show provides an enhanced audio-visual experience. The large screen size will increase utility and make it even easier to ask Alexa to show you things,” said Parag Gupta, Head of Amazon Devices, India.

To make the device more efficient on differenciating users’ voices from the ambient sound, the company says it added an eight-microphone array and “far-field” technology.

Amazon, online retailer, Drones
The Amazon warehouse in San Fernando de Henares is seen during a 3-day walkout to demand better wages and working conditions, on the outskirts of Madrid, Spain. VOA

The built-in Smart Home hub would enable users to discover and set-up compatible light bulbs and plugs without the need for additional hubs or apps with a simple voice command — “Alexa, discover my devices.”

In addition, the smart display also supports hands-free calling, built-in web browsers and accessibility features.

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“You can enable Alexa captioning, magnify the screen, toggle colour inversion, choose between colour correction options, enable the VoiceView screen reader to use gestures to navigate the screen and hear spoken feedback about the items you select,” the company added.

Amazon Echo Show is available on Amazon.in with cashback and other offers. (IANS)

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Uber India Rolls Out Driver Reward Programme “Uber Plus”

Uber India has planned free doctor access and micro loans for drivers

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Uber
Uber has rolled out a reward programme for drivers in India. Wikimedia Commons

Global ride-hailing major Uber on Wednesday rolled out a driver rewards programme called “Uber Plus” in India that will let drivers earn points for rides so that they can win free doctor consultations, concessions on education modules, access to micro loans, faster airport pick ups and savings on vehicle maintenance costs.

These points will be earned by the driver partners in 13 cities over a fixed period of every three months and can be then accumulated to unlock higher rating tiers such as blue, gold, platinum and diamond which, in turn, will let them access better rewards, informed the company.

“Under the programme, the Uber drivers get access to four tiers. To unlock these awards, they need to maintain a certain threshold rating and keep a low cancellation rate to unlock access to these benefits,” Prabhjeet Singh, Head of Cities, Uber India and South Asia, told IANS.

Uber Plus
Under this programme, Uber drivers get access to four tiers. Pixabay

“We have always worked towards prioritising their welfare and making them feel valued, respected and appreciated. ‘Uber Plus’ is an effort in that direction and will enable our driver partners to access greater benefits during their everyday journeys,” he added.

The rewards and offers are only available to drivers who use the Uber driver app, are participating in Uber Plus and meet applicable criteria.

Asked if this initiative will help in bringing down the number of cancellations, Singh replied: “We encourage ri ders to flag such cases if the driver cancels because the mode of payment is not cash, etc. That will help us take strict action against such drivers.

“We want to encourage behaviour which helps improve the marketplace reliability. Less the cancellation, the chances of the trip getting completed goes up and, overall, the network efficiency increases.”

An initial pilot phase was carried out in Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Mumbai and now, Uber Plus is being rolled out across 10 new cities, including Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati and Jaipur.

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“We also want to reward drivers who have lower cancellations,” said Uber.

Under the driver programme, Uber has partnered with “Ayushman Bharat” to provide access to free healthcare to its drivers, wherein they have access to free healthcare of up to Rs 500,000 in empanelled hospitals. (IANS)