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Inside Amazon’s Iot, AI Ambitions For 2016

Amazon has made it pretty clear it’s focused on the Internet of Things and the artificial intelligence market.

Between the launch of Amazon Echo and the Dash button, Amazon’s foray into the world of connected commerce meshes those two markets together. Amazon has also invested heavily in its Amazon Web Services, which is slowly building into one of Amazon’s most important sectors.

As Amazon has continued to push its core products, Echo has been pushed as a top holiday gift, along with the Dash buttons, as they continue to add on more products. Now, new data from Adobe shows just how much Amazon’s bet on IoT, along with its investments in smart home and AI, will impact the next year for the eCommerce giant.

Data from Adobe shows that consumers have listed Amazon Echo as the “most admired” product of the digital assistants that are available on the marketplace (67 percent reported this at the top). The second most listed (45 percent) were Google Now and Siri, with Windows Cortana at 38 percent and Facebook M at 18 percent.

And when looking at the IoT market and social media mentions, Amazon Echo came in second when measuring data from July–November 2015, with 70,000 mentions. That fell second only to Google OnHub, which recorded 130,000. Amazon Dash had 65,000 mentions.

Recently, Amazon announced that Echo, its voice-activated home assistant, will be available at over 3,000 retail locations this holiday season. While the hands-free device has been available for several months online and at participating retailers, like Staples, this marks the online retailer’s largest in-store push to date for Echo since its launch in late 2014.

As technology products tend to be among the best-sellers during the holidays, Echo may give retailers an advantage in moving a number of other items on their shelves as well. Serving as a control hub and connecting various devices in the in-store environment, Echo will allow shoppers to experience the true power of a fully connected home, while standing in a store, an experience that can’t be recreated online.

The Dash button — or buttons, depending on how many products the customer is looking to order — is a device with a specific product attached to each one. The buttons have an adhesive, so they can be stuck wherever the consumer feels is a convenient location. Once that consumer needs more of a specific item, they simply push the Dash button, and the items are shipped for free in two days.

And because the Dash button is smart, it knows to only respond to a single push. So, if those playful kids get their hands on the button, it won’t order 100 of the same item. The buttons are battery-powered and are connected using a consumer’s Wi-Fi network. Once set up, they are connected to the Amazon app, where the orders are tracked and ready for reorder (at the push of a button). Those buyers then receive a confirmation that allows for easy cancellation if they change their mind.

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