Amazon builds vest for workers to protect them from robots

The Independent

Amazon has developed a piece of wearable technology for its workers that will protect them from robot-related accidents. The Robotic Tech Vest is designed for Amazon employees working in warehouse fulfilment centres alongside autonomous robots. Featuring built-in sensors, the electronic belt provides warning alerts to nearby robots to inform them of a worker's presence. Its deployment across more than 25 Amazon sites follows incidents in which workers were injured as a result of a robot's actions. In December, 24 Amazon workers at a warehouse in New Jersey were hospitalised after a robot reportedly punctured a can of bear repellent.


Amazon Echo devices hit by Christmas Day outage as thousands set up Alexa speaker

The Independent

Amazon Echo devices were hit by a major outage on Christmas Day after new owners reported issues with the smart home speaker. Users in the UK and across Europe took to social media to complain of difficulties in setting up the Alexa voice assistant, with some suggesting that the large number of new owners attempting to connect. "Good luck to everyone who was delighted to receive their Amazon Echo this morning," one person wrote on Twitter. "Amazon has been a victim of its own success. Imagine the fun that new owners have been experiencing this morning, unsure as to why their new gadget isn't working."


Amazon plans 'game streaming service' to take on consoles

The Independent

Amazon is secretly developing a game streaming platform that would bypass the need for expensive consoles, according to reports. The project involves using powerful computers housed in data centres to run the games over the internet, which players would log in to remotely from devices like phones, tablets or even smart TVs. It would mean that players no longer need to buy discs or download video games to play on high-powered PCs or gaming consoles like the Xbox One or Playstation 4. The Amazon rumours come amid growing suggestions that both PlayStation and Xbox are working on their own versions of such cloud services. Amazon did not respond to a request for comment on the rumoured project, though several publications have cited sources close to the matter confirming its existence. The world's most valuable public company – which already has a major stake in gaming through its ownership of streaming service Twitch – is already in talks with a number of games publishers about distributing titles through the streaming service, The Information reported.


Jeff Bezos probe 'concludes brother of Amazon boss's mistress was National Enquirer source' of intimate text messages

The Independent

Investigators working for Jeff Bezos have reportedly concluded the intimate text messages published by the National Enquirer, were leaked by the brother of the mistress of Amazon's boss. Mr Sanchez has previously denied he was involved in leaking the material and this weekend he attacked the Amazon founder. Mr de Becker, who has been in charge of Mr Bezos' security for two decades, reached the conclusion after the texts were published by the Enquirer last month, and launched a probe to see where the leak had come, according to both the Daily Beast website and the Associated Press news agency. Last week, Mr Bezos made headlines around the world when he claimed in a blog post that the Enquirer had threatened to publish explicit photographs of him, unless he issued a public statement, reversing claims by Mr de Becker, that the magazine's reporting of his private life was politically motivated. He refused to do so, and instead made public emails between his lawyers and those of American Media Inc (AMI), the parent company of the Enquirer, and whose owner is an ally of Donald Trump.


Amazon Echo Christmas features update lets you ask Alexa: 'Do you believe in Santa Claus?'

The Independent

A festive update for the Amazon Echo has enabled a brand new set of Christmas features for its Alexa voice assistant. Owners can ask the smart speaker to sing a Christmas carol, tell a Christmas story, or even find out if Alexa believes in Santa Claus. A number of other Alexa Skills available for download include Christmas Radio, Christmas Sounds, and Christmas Countdown - all of which are free to enable. An Alexa Skill from the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) allows people to ask their Amazon Echo device for the whereabouts of Santa Claus. "Just try saying'Alexa, where's Santa'," the Skill's description states.