Hello, future! So many Amazon announcements!

Hello, future! So many Amazon announcements!

Every once in a while, Amazon just has a flurry of press releases, a proliferation of innovation, a multiplication of celebration and exuberation! 😉

Just this week, Amazon has announced a number of updates and new directions.

I’m going to include links to older press releases in my next book, Because of the Kindle. I’m really hoping to get your opinions on that for inclusion:

You can be part of my new book, “Because of the Kindle”

I also looked at

Kindle press releases “through the ages”

back in 2011…but rarely have we seen so many initiatives touted in so short a period of time.

Let’s take a look (I’ll comment on the ones most relevant to this blog):

Monday, 10/23/2017

Your One-Stop Shop for Handcrafted Gifts: Amazon Handmade Launches the Handmade Gift Shop

Amazon’s Fall 2017 Half-Hour Pilot Season Premieres on November 10 on Amazon Prime Video

This certainly has some direct impact on Fire tablet users, among others. Unfortunately, the biggest news around Amazon Video lately has been the number of executives leaving. That, in itself, can be seen as a sign of innovation, or at least, reinvention. We don’t know yet what it will mean in the long run, but Amazon is certainly always willing to make changes.

Tuesday, 10/24/2017

Amazon Announces All-New Kindle App—Easier Than Ever to Read and Connect with Friends


Kindle reading apps (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)

have been a big part of the Kindleer community for a long time now (the Kindle apps for the iPhone and iPod touch were announced on March 4, 2009). It wouldn’t surprise me if more e-books are read in the apps (if we include tablets, certainly) than on Kindle EBRs (E-Book Readers).

This update is largely focused on social elements…but only if you have an Apple device (for now). Those features are coming to Android as well.

Amazon is really, really trying to socialize their business…they do quite well with business to business, and with consumers. Nowadays, though, you also need to be part of your customers’ lives even when they aren’t shopping or consuming content. Alexa has done a lot of that: I interact with Amazon devices throughout the day, when I’m not shopping.

I haven’t had time to explore it much yet, but I will say, the recommendations seem much better. they listed Fritz Leiber, Robert Silverberg, and John Brunner books I didn’t know were in

Kindle Unlimited (at AmazonSmile*)

for example.

This is far from Amazon’s first attempt at socialization; will this be the one that really catches on? We’ll see, but it is always good to see Amazon making an effort.

Amazon Celebrates 10 Years in Arizona; Employs 6,000 People in the Copper State

Amazon Business Launches Business Prime Shipping in the United States and Germany

Basically, this is Amazon Prime in bulk for businesses. It can be a huge savings: Up to 100 users are $1,299 dollars a year…that’s only $12.99 per person, potentially. There is a $499 level for up to 10 people, and $10,099 for more than 100.

I think this is a very smart move, and will really make Amazon an indispensable part of the infrastructure for many mid to large size businesses.

Qualifying businesses can get a thirty-day free trial at

Business Prime Shipping (at AmazonSmile*)

AWS Announces General Availability for Amazon Aurora PostgreSQL

Wednesday, 10/25/2017

Introducing Amazon Key, a New Level of Delivery Convenience for Prime Members

We had buzzing about this…I wrote a short fiction incorporating the idea ten days ago in this post:

Regular Delivery

The actual implementation is quite fascinating!

Amazon Key (at AmazonSmile*)

It’s only available to Amazon Prime members, first off.

You buy a kit which has a SmartLock and a camera. If you are handy (we aren’t) you can install it yourself, or you can schedule free installation.

It’s a lot more robust than just a simple lockbox and key. You can watch deliveries (live or recorded). You can unlock it remotely to let guests enter. “Happiness” is guaranteed.

There are some limitations as to what can be delivered (fifty pound limit, for one).

It’s initially available in these areas (although you can check your zip code on the page:

Eligible for in-home delivery*

Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
Baltimore, MD
Boston, MA
Chicago, IL
Cincinnati, OH
Cleveland, OH
Dallas, TX
Denver, CO
Detroit, MI
Houston, TX
Indianapolis, IN
Jacksonville, FL
Kansas City, KS
Los Angeles and Orange County, CA
Louisville, KY
Miami, FL
Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis and St. Paul, MN
Nashville, TN
Newark, NJ
Orlando, FL
Philadelphia, PA
Phoenix, AZ
Pittsburgh, PA
Portland, OR
Richmond, VA
Sacramento, CA
Salt Lake City, UT
San Antonio, TX
San Diego, CA
San Francisco Bay area, CA
Sarasota, FL
Seattle and Eastside, WA
St. Louis, MO
Tampa, FL
Washington, DC metro area
*In-home delivery is currently only available in select areas, requires an Amazon Key In-Home Kit, and is exclusive to Prime members.

We definitely want this (we’ve had Amazon items stolen), but it is a lot of money in our current circumstances. We’ll think about it. The Amazon Locker isn’t far away from where we work or live…although this is more convenient, and has those other advantages.

There will be a lot of questions…our now adult kid brought up hackability…but I can’t imagine it’s easier to hack this than to kick in a door (which we’ve had happen…well, we don’t know if it was a kick, but a door on the side of the house was broken to gain entry). Still, this is a big deal! I also wonder if law enforcement and first responders will have access…that could be literally lifesaving, but many might object depending on the parameters.

Introducing Amazon Cloud Cam—An Intelligent Security Camera that Works with Alexa for Only $119.99

This is about buying the Amazon Cloud Cam separately from Amazon Key (it’s included, otherwise).

Well, that’s a lot of future in one week! 🙂 Worth mentioning that it isn’t even 8:00 in the morning yet in Seattle…maybe more to come! I also expect more from Amazon this year…

What do you think? I’m sure I’ll write more about these topics going forward, but feel free to ask/tell me and my readers by commenting on this post.

You can be part of my next book, Because of the Kindle!

My current Amazon giveaway:

Beyond Curie: Four women in physics and their remarkable discoveries 1903 to 1963 (at AmazonSmile: benefit a non-profit of your choice by shopping*)



  • Winner:Randomly selected after Giveaway has ended, up to 1 winners.
    Requirements for participation:
  • Resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia
  • 18+ years of age (or legal age)
  • Follow Scott Calvin on Amazon

Start:Sep 25, 2017 5:46 AM PDT

End:Oct 25, 2017 11:59 PM PDT

Join thousands of readers and try the free ILMK magazine at Flipboard!

All aboard The Measured Circle’s Geek Time Trip at The History Project!

* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. :) Shop ’til you help! :) 

This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy  Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.

4 Responses to “Hello, future! So many Amazon announcements!”

  1. Phink Says:

    About the Amazon Cloud Cam. I love the price of the camera but not so much the cloud storage price. I mean it’s not bad but “RING” which is what I use is cheaper. With Ring cloud storage is $4 a month (or $40 a year) per camera or unlimited cameras for $100 a year. With Ring the videos stay in the cloud 60 days. Of course you can download them at will while available.

    With Amazon it’s free for up to 3 cameras which is great but they only stay in the cloud 24 hours. I would not be interested in that but it might work for some and Ring has no free option. With Ring, if you don’t pay then videos are live stream only. With Amazon you can have 14 days of storage and up to 5 cameras for the same annual price Ring charges for unlimited cameras and 60 days storage. It seems both have two way communication with their cameras.

    However, there is more to consider than cloud storage cost. The cheapest Ring camera they had last time I bought one was $199 but it’s rated for outdoors. That’s much higher. Thankfully I work for a big box retailer who last Christmas had an employees only sale and we could buy them at 40% off and that’s how I got my three.

    I do want some indoor cameras but only want them on when I am not home or when I’m sleeping. They need to be easily turned on and off. A timer would be great. I don’t know how these work on that but with Ring you open the app, click on the camera you want to control, and hit a slider bar that says “motion alerts” and it’ll turn that off or on depending on what it is when you hit it.

    With so many options on home cameras perhaps thieves are having a hard time lately. I sure hope so.

    • Bufo Calvin Says:

      Thanks for writing, Phink!

      I’m not sure how much cameras are a deterrent to crime (I haven’t looked at stats), but I would guess they have increased the number of people being caught (and perhaps convicted, but that’s different).

      I need to know more about the specifics of Amazon Key before I could really do a comparison. I think most people would consider free for three an attractive deal…

      • Phink Says:

        I think you are right and most people will know within 24 hours if they need to download the footage. Let’s face it. It’s probably not that often that someone has a break in and they don’t know for 24 hours. Myself, I just don’t feel comfy with such a tight window.

        I’d love to see Amazon keep the videos on file at least 14 days but make it known only videos in the last 24 hours are free to view. If you need to view or download anything past 24 hours you must sign up for a larger plan. At that time videos in the last 14 days are view-able. At least then you could have the option to upgrade if you did not know about the robbery for let’s say 5 days because you were on vacation. But, storage cost money and Amazon has to think about that I guess.

      • Bufo Calvin Says:

        Thanks for writing, Phink!

        Certainly, people get robbed and don’t know about it for more than a day. I used to work on the phone…I was a “verifier”, so I would call back the next day (after a salesperson said they got a sale) and make sure the person actually wanted it and understood it. Needless to say, most companies don’t have that position. 🙂

        I called once, and I’ll paraphrase the conversation:

        Me: “Hi, this is Bufo Calvin, with XYZ company. I’m calling to confirm that somewhere there ordered 123 yesterday.”

        Voice: “What time was the call?”

        Me: “1:37 PM.”

        Voice: “This is the Sheriff. I’ll need to speak with your salesperson…the house was robbed at about that time.”

        I put on my salesperson, who was a nice and honest person to my knowledge…as well as being one of the top salespeople (those two often go together…you can be a mediocre salesperson and a jerk, but not, in my not unextensive experience, be a top one). Turned out the owner of the house had been on vacation in Europe for two weeks (I think that’s right…out of the house for days, at any rate), so the house should have been empty. It appears that the burglar actually answered the phone..and stayed on the call long enough to place the order!

        The Sheriff wanted to know what person’s voice was like.

        I think your idea is good, but I’d add one more condition: during the fourteen days, you can get access to the video for free if you have a police report.

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