Amazon opens online only supermarket
Amazon’s new Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn is open, but not to customers. The facility is laid out like a grocery store, but is open only to Amazon employees who are fulfilling online orders for nearby Brooklyn residents. Fueled by the Covid-19 pandemic, online grocery ordering is surging. Engadget
dis-rup-shun: The supermarket of the future may not be open to the public. Perhaps this is the solution to food deserts, where operating grocery stores in blighted areas is not economical. Perhaps low income households can subscribe to grocery services, and are provided a 4G wireless ordering tablet. While this service wouldn’t provide Whole Foods with the margins they seek, perhaps tax abatements will provide incentives to operate in trouble spots.
Alexa for Residential puts Echo in apartments
Alexa for Residential is Amazon’s push to fill apartment units with Echo devices that will remain in place even as residents come and go. The devices will help lease the units by answering questions to prospective renters, then can be connected to personal accounts including Amazon and Spotify, and when people move in, and can be disconnected when people move out. CNET
dis-rup-shun: Amazon is moving quickly to ensure that its smart speaker technology becomes the standard for smart homes across the land. If smart speakers become a standard in most all new buildings, then the foundation is laid for smart locks, smart lighting, security cameras and the like, and Amazon will be the rental smart home kingpin. Now about privacy — while Amazon insists that landlords will not be eavesdropping, convincing residents of the same may be a challenge.
Ready for color changing light bulbs?
Philips Hue brought the novelty of controlling the color and brightness of home lighting to an app about half a dozen years ago. The product was a hit and arguably a game changer. But with requirements for a separate hub, and a price point far above just a bulb, the product was not mainstream. Now Philips offers Wiz connected LED lighting for about $13 per bulb, controllable through an app and mostly compatible with all three voice platforms. CNET
dis-rup-shun: There will be a time when you will tell young people that back in the day, light bulbs came only in a whitish hue and that using different colors for scenarios, certain rooms, or times of day simply was not an option. Archaic, yes. The challenge now, for lighting companies, will be educating consumers on the benefits of using different colors around the home. Why do we need anything besides bright and dim?
Google to build mixed-use town in Silicon Valley
Does Google know something that the rest of us don’t? Just as companies appear poised to implement indefinite work from home policies, the tech giant is building a town in Silicon Valley. The Mountain View development will transform open land into a mixed use development, including retail, offices, 1,850 apartment units, 20% of which will be dedicated to low-cost housing. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Good for Google — following through on its promise to help with the housing shortage caused by the Silicon Valley tech boom even when it appears that remote workers may ease the crunch in the Bay Area. Will the forty acre development be akin to the Japanese factory towns housing workers for Fujitsu, Toshiba and other companies, and will the community offer living only for Google employees? Density with quality will be a welcome change to the density that describes today’s sprawling Silicon Valley.