Walmart is hiring … robots
Walmart has been testing robots to clean the floors of stores in Texas and will now roll out the cleaning robots to 1,500 stores. It has 4,600 stores in the U.S. Robot technologies have also been employed to sort stock and track inventory. The Verge
dis-rup-shun: Some quick math says say that a crew of 2 to 3 human floor cleaners per store means that the initial human cleaner displacement factor is initially 4,500, possibly growing to 13,800 people across all U.S. stores. If robots in stores require a full-time technician for the programming and maintenance of the devices, we can add back 4,500 higher skilled, higher wage earners, for a net human impact of 9,300 displaced people. Should we be concerned about jobs displaced by technology? History says that each major productivity sea change, such as the industrial revolution and the information age, has led to a higher standard of living, although accompanied by significant job disruption.
Amazon Echo-ize your premium audio system
Amazon began shipping its Echo Link Amp which, like Sonos Amp, allows you to turn non-Internet-connected audio systems into steaming music devices that can be controlled by your Echo devices. The offering, at $299, is half the price of the equivalent from Sonos. The Verge
dis-rup-shun: The Echo and its competitors are great products, and less glitchy than my Internet enabled whole-home audio receiver, but certainly do not sound anywhere as great as a custom home sound system. Other members of the household who still have not mastered all the settings required to play music from certain streaming accounts in certain rooms on certain speakers will be deligthed to boss the Echo around. Most of our home appliances will be voice enabled in a few short years, but certain devices have a lifespan of 10 or even 20 years, and Amazon is helping us update our legacy devices.
Really smart lighting from Orro
Orro, a lighting control that replaces your light switches, makes ligthing control easy. Orro automatically switches lights on and off, based on your movement, and adjusts brightness based on time of day. Orro replaces your light switch, not your bulbs or fixtures and remembers the patterns and brightness you prefer, so you get the same experience after adjusting one time. Unlike many smart home products, Orro does not depend on the cloud, so none of your personal data leaves the home. ZDNet
dis-rup-shun: There are a host of ways to implement smart homes – some expensive and instrusive, and some easy add-ons. Orro is a wholesale replacement of your light switches with a great looking, $199 black glass plate. Orro is more like a smart phone that you install in the wall, meaning it is an intercom, a whole-home controller and thermostat. Just when we thought we had to rely on mobile apps to control lighting, Orro puts the app on the wall.
Roku brings even more goodies
Roku continues to improve its video streaming service and channels, including premium HBO channels and soon, Cinemax. These are additions to the already 25 premium channel offerings on Roku. CEPro
Roku is an example of a company that gives people exactly what they want at the price they want. The service continues to offer many form factors so that old TVs and new can add the experience. Traditional cable and satellite are feeling more and more like land lines. Why do we pay $200 a month for Shark vacuum and AB Buster infomercials?