Amazon CEO introduced the company’s first smart phone, the Fire Phone, which will launch on July 25 exclusive to AT&T. The Fire Phone is an extension of their Kindle Fire tablets, and will be the first smartphone to include the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.
Among it’s unique features, the Fire Phone will be able to display 3D images, with the illusion of depth behind the screen. Users can scroll through various web pages by tilting the phone in different directions, without touching the display.
Additionally, Fire Phone users will be offered free, unlimited photo storage on the Amazon Cloud, and the ability to “fling” videos and music from one device to another (such as Amazon’s Fire TV or Xbox).
Perhaps the greatest feature of the Fire Phone is Firefly, which can scan any product (even music and television shows) and provide related information within seconds. Firefly will combine technologies from popular smart phone apps like Shazam and My Fitness Pal, and be able to scan 100 million objects, including foods, songs, household products, TV channels and much more. If the object being scanned is available on amazon.com, users can add it to their shopping cart instantly.
The Software Development Kit is available online now, so developers can create apps compatible with the Fire Phone, and even build on top of Firefly technologies.
Starbucks announced that they will be installing Duracell Powermat chargers in stores nationwide, beginning in San Francisco.
The Powermat chargers are circular pads embedded into tabletops and counters, where customers will be able to receive free, wireless power for their smart phones.
Only customers with a compatible phone case or plug-in adapter can benefit from the charging stations. These adapters are currently available at AT&T stores, but Starbucks hasn’t said whether or not they will be selling the adapters as well.
While Powermat has many competitors in the wireless power field, Starbucks is confident that their customers will be quick to embrace the new technology.
Last week Apple announced “HomeKit,” a new platform that aims to make the home automation industry much smarter. HomeKit users will be able to control lights, locks, doors, thermostats, cameras and more via one single iOS 8 app.
While iOS 8 isn’t available until the Fall, the beta test is available now for smart home companies looking to develop software/products compatible with HomeKit.
Apple’s goal is to encourage various home automation devices to work together on their platform and revolutionize the smart home industry.
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