Last week, Waymo announced a partnership to build autonomous Jaguar vehicles for its upcoming self-driving taxi service, which will augment its existing fleet of Chryslers. But today Bloomberg reported that the Alphabet company is nearing a deal with… Engadget RSS Feed
On June 30th, Uber will sunset its on-demand delivery service for laundry, groceries, flowers and just about anything under 30 pounds that's not an illegal item or, say, a cute pet. The ride-hailing service has notified its users in an email that it'… Engadget RSS Feed
Amazon has filed a patent for a delivery drone that responds when you call or wave at it. The patent was spotted by GeekWireand the concept drone is designed to recognize human gestures, and then respond accordingly. Gestures the drone would recognize include, for example, waving arms, pointing, the flashing of lights, and speech. (The illustration shows a man wildly waving his arms and with a speech bubble next to his mouth).
The patent was initially filed in July 2016 and published this week. “The human recipient and / or the other humans can communicate with the vehicle using human gestures to aid the vehicle along its path to the delivery location,” the patent states. The patent gives an example of a “shooing” motion, which the…
Sticking to the same as the previous giveaway, Apple has partnered with restaurant delivery apps to offer free delivery on meals ordered through Grubhub, Seamless and Eat24. Orders must be made through the website or the apps using promo code ‘HOOPS’ at checkout, and paid using Apple Pay of course. There are some strings attached though …
Amazon Key, the service that lets the company’s couriers access your home to drop off parcels, works via a home security camera and a smart door lock. The service was introduced last October and runs in tandem with the Amazon Key app, which has been updated today on Android to include fingerprint authentication, as spotted by Android Police.
Amazon Key allows you to remotely lock / unlock your door and check delivery footage, so the extra layer of security is useful for people who might leave a secondary phone or tablet lying around the house. Reviewers have previously expressed concern that the app launches with automatic access to the camera, guest profiles, and the door lock — problems that should be mitigated with fingerprint…
The company already offers grocery pickup at 1,200 of its stores.
Walmart already doubled down on its grocery pickup service. Now it’s doing the same for grocery delivery.
The big question: Can it succeed at both?
The giant brick-and-mortar retailer just announced that it is expanding its online grocery delivery service from six U.S. metro areas today to more than 100 in total by the end of the year, which should make it available to more than 40 percent of the U.S. population.
But it is a bit surprising considering that Walmart has already invested a lot of time and money into its grocery pickup business, which is available at 1,200 stores and allows customers to pick up their online orders without exiting their cars. The company will add the service at another 1,000 stores by the end of this year.
The grocery pickup service doesn’t cost anything extra for shoppers. And that value proposition makes sense because the average Walmart customer has less disposable income than those of Amazon or Target.
But the grocery delivery service? It comes with a $ 9.95 delivery fee. So I asked a Walmart spokesperson who the intended customer is: Walmart’s existing customer or a different customer base the company aspires to reach?
It’s a bit of both, she said, but the rest of her answer made it sound like the latter.
“Online Grocery Deliver will make Walmart more accessible to some customers where it wasn’t before (customers who didn’t want to drive out of the city center to a suburban Walmart, customers who physically can’t get to a Walmart, or customers who only have their groceries delivered these days!).”
Today, Walmart uses partner companies Uber and Deliv to handle deliveries in its six current markets. The company says it will add more partners as it expands, which raises the possibility of a tie-up with Instacart, which recently announced a delivery relationship with Walmart subsidiary Sam’s Club.
On one hand, the idea of Instacart partnering with the enemy of all of its regional grocery chains sounds farfetched. On the other hand, it’s 2018 and Amazon owns Whole Foods — which means anything is possible in the grocery space.
Not satisfied with tracking its warehouse workers using wearables, and making sure its Alexa virtual assistant has as wide a reach as possible, Amazon is pursuing a new way to get all up in people’s space. The company plans to take photographs of your front door. Smell a little dystopian in here to anyone else?
Over the last six months, and with little fanfare, Amazon introduced a program that asks delivery drivers to provide visual confirmation of a package’s safe arrival — that is, a photograph proving the order was dropped off, and where. The standard-issue delivery device and operating system were updated to make it easier for delivery drivers to snap a pic before heading off to their next destination.
Users can also access the images to confirm their package arrived safely – or to check where it ended up, in case your delivery driver took it upon themselves to hide it under a bush in your back garden. However customers can only see the photos by going to their order history, USA Today reports.
But there’s also a downside, if you care about privacy. Snaps of your front door end up on the Amazon servers where you can’t do anything about them.
Someone else might be able access them, however: hackers.
Granted, leaking your home address might not make you as vulnerable online as, say, leaks of your credit card number or passwords. But it’s still not exactly ideal. If photos of your front door are dumped on the internet for everyone to see, or take advantage of, you might be subject to scams or abuse, such as doxxing.
And it’s happened to Amazon before. One hack of Amazon subsidiary Zappos in 2012 affected 24 million customers, according to a Las Vegas Sun article about a subsequent lawsuit against the company. “But the lawsuit says customers nevertheless have to worry now about being targeted by identify theft schemes or even ‘phishing,’ in which a criminal may pose as being with Zappos, set up a fake Zappos website and try to contact customers to gain their bank account numbers, login information or Social Security numbers,” the article reads.
Some Amazon customers might welcome getting a notification on their phone showing them their package is waiting on their doorstep. Others might find it to be an invasion of privacy, but remember we’re talking about a company that wants you to give them a set of keys to your house to make deliveries easier.
Amazon’s Photo on Delivery program is currently being tested in Oregon, Las Vegas, Indianapolis, Seattle, San Francisco, and the Northern Virginia metro areas. If you live in one of those places and you feel squeamish about the whole thing, you can opt out by clicking “Don’t take delivery photos” on the “Your Orders” page on the website. But you can only choose that after Amazon has delivered at least one parcel at your door — and snapped that first photo.
Amazon is expanding its delivery partnership with Whole Foods by rolling out free delivery from the grocery chain to Prime members in San Francisco and Atlanta.
Orders that total at least $ 35 can be delivered within two hours for free through Amazon’s Prime Now service, or within one hour for an extra $ 7.99 fee. The selection available for delivery from Whole Foods stores includes “thousands of items across fresh and organic produce, bakery, dairy, meat and seafood, floral and everyday staples,” according to a press release, as well as alcohol in San Francisco.
The announcement comes less than a month after Amazon first announced a delivery partnership with Whole Foods in four launch cities: Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach.
Both Amazon and Instacart continue to blow off questions about how the two competing delivery programs are live simultaneously — which is frustrating but telling.
To me, that means one of three things is likely true: Instacart’s original deal with Whole Foods was not as airtight as the startup originally let on; Amazon has worked out an unannounced agreement with Instacart to amend its deal with Whole Foods; or Amazon is just doing what it wants and daring Instacart to start a legal battle.
Have the answer? Email me at email@example.com or text me on any secure messaging app at 917-655-4267.