Beyond ‘e-commerce’: the strange businesses in which Amazon is involved

It’s amazing how Amazon has evolved during these years and has gone from being an online book store to a hypermarket full of products, remote services and even selling its own devices and content. But the future of Amazon goes further and is full of surprises. We review some of them.

When Amazon started in the second half of the 90s, it was a simple online store of books, music records and movies. Over time it was expanding its catalog and spreading throughout the planet. Today, depending on what country you are in, on Amazon you can buy anything you can imagine, from vehicles of the main brands, furniture, food, sex toys and even prefabricated houses …

Not only that. Amazon is much more than an online store, since it has physical stores and associated businesses such as Goodreads, IMDb , Prime Video … And what about its range of gadgets that includes tablets, e-book readers, devices for watching TV and even smart speakers with their own virtual assistant Alexa . And increasingly popular Ring devices to protect your home that even has an app to notify your neighbors and that, for the moment, works only in the USA.

It is clear that Amazon covers many sectors and that its catalog of services and products is increasingly extensive. And this implies that you offer your services in more than surprising areas such as some that we review below.

Quantum computing

Quantum computing is something that has been talked about in recent years and that aims to revolutionize computing at all levels. For the average user, quantum computing will allow information to be processed much faster, run calculations faster, and while we will not have quantum computers at home for several decades, large companies and research centers will use them sooner. that late

Google and IBM are two of the main actors struggling to offer quantum computers, and along the way, there are other companies interested in anyone having access to them selling quantum computing as a service , as is currently the case with many services in what we commonly call cloud.

Within its AWS business line , Amazon has introduced the Amazon Braket program , whose official website can now be consulted in several languages, including Spanish. Its purpose is to apply quantum computing to our day to day, but, of course, it is not a service designed for the home user but rather for researchers and scientists .

Today AWS offers servers to store data, run applications and perform different tasks remotely. With Amazon Braket, you transfer quantum computing to this type of remote or cloud services with the help of important industry names such as Rigetti , IONQ and D-Wave .

Drones for deliveries

The Amazon Prime Air project is not new. It has been in operation since 2013 and its first test deliveries were made in 2016. And although we still do not benefit from it, it is clear that in the future this project will be as popular as Echo speakers , Kindle readers or the original Prime Video series .

Under the name Amazon Prime Air, you want to take advantage of drone technology to send packages and products automatically. It is something that has been talking for years and one of the first applications that were thought when the first drones emerged. However, there is much to purify from this idea.

Currently, Amazon serves products that are one day apart. In some cases, it even sends things in two hours. Amazon Prime Air has the ambitious goal of sending packages in 30 minutes.

From the first drone models to the last, larger and with a more futuristic design if possible, the project is still in its testing phase in its centers in the United States, United Kingdom, Austria, France and Israel.

That this project crosses our skies will depend on the regulations of each country and the future generations of drones in which Amazon is already working.

Domestic robots

Although we have an image of humanoid-shaped robots, robots have been with us for years. Industries such as the automobile industry were among the first to introduce mechanized arms for the manufacture of vehicles and any electronic device or device. Currently, we work with the application of robots in user assistance or in research or exploration tasks .

The closest thing to a fiction robot that we have at home is the sweeping device that different brands sell and that, in some cases, even offers the possibility of scrubbing the floor with the help of water or special mops. But Amazon goes further.

Already in the 60s, Hannah-Barbera cartoons called The Jetsons in the United States and The Supersonic in these parts, fantasized about the idea of ​​domestic robots that would help at home in basic tasks. But who knows if we will have to wait until the 60s of the 21st century to see this dream come true.

As I said, from spring 2018 it is known that Amazon works on a project related to robotics and artificial intelligence in order to create robots that automatically help in the home, an evolution of current sweeping robots and that perform more complex tasks integrating his assistant Alexa. This would mean that we could handle the robot with voice commands.

However, the project is kept secret and little is known about it. It is said that it works with wheels, that its code name is Vesta but its functions are barely known beyond the rumors and wishes of many.

Renewable energy

The fight against the climate crisis begins to have more and more allies in companies such as Amazon. Whether due to social pressure, business reasons or conviction, Amazon has set out to implement a series of measures so that in the near future its footprint on the planet is as sustainable as possible.

Among its objectives in this area, is the use of renewable energy . Specifically, it intends to use 80% of renewables in 2024 and reach 100% in 2030. In addition, it intends that its CO2 emission be reduced to zero in 2040.

At the moment, in 2017 Amazon placed 50 solar roof installations in its buildings, 37 of them in the United States, 12 in Europe and 8 in India. And more recently, Amazon has two major projects, such as its Texas wind farm where it employs more than 100 turbines to harness wind energy or its future solar farms in Illinois and Virginia.

Europe will also benefit from this type of facility, and more specifically Seville , Spain. This solar farm will produce 149 MW and will be operational during 2020. The goal is to provide power to its logistics centers and AWS data centers .