Alexa Is Everywhere

Alexa Is Everywhere

October 6, 2019

Amazon is leading the Internet of Things market by infusing its virtual assistant, Alexa, into clocks, ovens, speakers, earbuds, and glasses.

With these new products, users can ask questions, voice-control devices, and auto-program appliances from anywhere, anytime. It essentially allows Amazon’s virtual assistant to manage their home as well as their daily lives.

Wearables such as earbuds makes shopping more convenient for users, for instance, by keeping users informed about the best deals and location of products on store shelves while shopping in brick-and-mortar stores.


Video Spotlight: Amazon’s Echo Buds hands-on first impressions


This post is based on the CNN article, Amazon is adding Alexa into earbuds, eyeglasses, high-end speakers and even an oven, by Rachel Metz, September 25, 2019, and the YouTube video, Amazon’s Echo Buds hands-on first impressions, by CNET, September 25, 2019. Image source: travelbetter.co.uk / Alamy Stock Photo

Discussion Questions:

1. What is the operational significance of Amazon’s Alexa-infused product offerings?

Guidance: The operational significance includes allowing Amazon to maintain its lead in the Internet of Things market, expand its customer base, and increase demand for its products.

2. What are the reasons for Amazon to extend its Alexa-infused products from home Continue reading

Facebook
Twitter
IKEA and Ori Partner for Robotic Product Design

IKEA and Ori Partner for Robotic Product Design

IKEA is partnering with Ori, an American startup, to offer robotic furniture that fits a bed, couch, desk, and storage in less than 115 square feet of space.

That’s an ideal solution for small apartment dwellers.  With a push of a button, a bed can slide under the unit or a desk can be retracted to open up floor spaces, turning limited quarters into smart spaces.


Video Spotlight: Robotic furniture transforms studio apartments


This post is based on the Engadget article, IKEA is working on robotic furniture for small apartments, by Christine Fisher, June 5, 2019; and the YouTube video, Robotic furniture transforms studio apartments, by NJ.com, December 22, 2017. Image source: Ingram Publishing

Discussion Questions:

1. What are the factors that drive IKEA to create a line of robotic furniture?

Guidance: Ori is a technology start-up that has designed furniture for modern living in very small spaces. Ikea wants to take advantage of the urban living trend where space is valuable and scarce, and people struggle with the challenge of small apartment living.

2. What is the operational significance of IKEA’s robotic furniture?

Guidance: The robotic furniture represents IKEA’s latest innovation in Continue reading

Facebook
Twitter
Walmart’s Bricks-and-Mortar Footprint VS Amazon

Walmart’s Bricks-and-Mortar Footprint VS Amazon

Did you know 90% of Americans live within ten miles of a Walmart? To compete with Amazon, Walmart is leveraging its physical footprint. Its strategy includes:

  1. doubling stores as warehouses, allowing online shoppers to order at the last minute and pick up orders from self-service stations
  2. using machine learning techniques to restock frequently ordered items and prevent stock out
  3. equipping employees with an optimization app that charts employee’s shortest path to fulfill eight different orders at once
  4. using robots to stroll around store aisles to alert a store employee to restock items
  5. using robots to unload trucks and sort boxes, giving priority to out of stock items for easier re-shelving

This post is based on the Fast Company article, The clever way Walmart is trying to beat Amazon, by Katharine Schwab, March 19, 2019. Image source: Shutterstock / Jojje

Discussion Questions:

1. What operations strategies does Walmart use to compete with Amazon?

Guidance: Building on its vast physical presence, Walmart is competing with Amazon for online shoppers in two areas: delivery and ordering.

Walmart uses its warehouses for last-mile delivery saving storage and delivery costs while providing online shoppers with convenient and fast order fulfillment options.  Continue reading

Facebook
Twitter