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Paying with your palms to predicting the future of business — four launches from Amazon to note

Paying with your palms to predicting the future of business — four launches from Amazon to note

5 Min(s) Read

By Jude Sannith  Nov 30, 2022 3:36:43 PM IST (Updated)

In a nutshell, AWS Supply Chain allows a business to access a dashboard with key insights on mapped locations that are experiencing supply chain disruptions — either too much or too less stock — and then make informed decisions over moving stock depending on availability of space.

A cloud-based data management system, machine-learning-enabled tech to forecast business outcomes, an intervention that does away with check-out queues, and a much-needed supply chain cloud product.

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In his keynote address at Amazon Web Services (AWS)’s Re:Invent Conference in Las Vegas, CEO Adam Selipsky outlined his company’s path to future innovations while making key product announcements, four of which stand out by way of their innovation and scale.
Amazon Data Zone
Data privacy laws have tightened around the world, and data security has been a key focus area for several tech companies. However, Selipsky said a bigger need was that of balance — between data access and data control — to enable the right kind of data governance.
AWS’ latest service, Amazon Data Zone, unveiled at AWS Re:Invent could establish a balance and enable data-sharing within an organization with the right kind of security and governance.
“If there’s too much control, your data cannot be accessed; too much access and your data ends up in places you don’t want it to be,” said Selipsky in his address.
“Implementing data governance and processes in organizations is complicated,” he added, “It involves all sorts of people and all sorts of data spread across databases and third-party applications. You need to speak the language of those teams and across all those function and still ensure your specific governance requirements.”
Amazon QuickSight Q
While AI and machine learning have helped solve complex problems over time, AWS has taken this a few notches higher. At AWS Re:Invent, Selipsky said utilizing machine-learning tools to aid in business forecasting could pave the way for more informed decision-making.
The kicker here, however, is that QuickSight Q lets a user — non-analysts can use it too — gain insights into forecasts through natural language queries, and the ability to ask ‘why’ questions.
For instance, if QuickSight Q is used to draft a performance report and the ML tool makes certain projections for the future like a drop in performance or earnings, it also comes up with reasons for these predictions.
“It provides the list of possible explanations with confidence on why something has changed,” said Selipsky, “You can then drill down further into these causes by asking more questions from Q.”
AWS Supply Chain
COVID-induced disruptions to key supplies around the world have worsened thanks to the war in Ukraine. A few months ago, the United States ran out of baby formula, a few weeks earlier, port logjams left hundreds of cargo ships with no place to dock and offload. Closer home, an acute shortage of semiconductors is resulting in unavailability of gadgets.
“Disruptions have been widespread and deeply felt,” said Selipsky, “Addressing supply chain issues around inventory means businesses need to plan for supply chain disruptions and respond practically to ensure there is the right amount of inventory available.”
While managing inventory generally requires accurate and updated insights on supply chains, getting there involves arduous data collection and crunching, to build a supply chain management system.
“You might discover a potential stock-up in a facility and pull up a picture of your supply chain network, but not have an idea which facilities are able to transfer inventory, and that means you resort to emails and calls to other facilities to manage the issue” explained Selipsky, “Today, I’m happy to announce a preview of the AWS Supply Chain, so you get a unified view and powered insights to react quickly to unexpected issues.”
In a nutshell, AWS Supply Chain allows a business to access a dashboard with key insights on mapped locations that are experiencing supply chain disruptions — either too much or too less stock — and then make informed decisions over moving stock depending on availability of space.
A chat function within the interface helps various locations to talk to each other and coordinate movement of inventory. Incidentally, AWS Supply Chain, Selipsky said, was born out of multiple customer requests to build a supply chain product using Amazon supply chain technology and AWS’ infrastructure and machine learning interface.
Just Walk Out
Imagine you’re at a store and there’s a terribly long line to check items out. If the tech giant’s next big launch could have its way, this might well be a thing of the past. The company’s newly launched ‘Just Walk Out’ interface allows customers to pay for items they buy with their phones.
“A combination of computer vision, sensor data and deep learning means that customers can scan with their phones when they walk into a store, take what they want and leave,” said Selipsky, “There’s no standing in line to check-out anymore.”
But AWS didn’t stop there. “We started thinking about other places where you go to stand in line — waiting to get into a stadium or badge-ing in (signing in) to work,” he added, “And this led to Amazon One — a new way to identify, enter and pay with your palm. You can buy an item and enter a payment with just a wave of your palm.”
Incidentally, Amazon has been testing both pieces of tech at its Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh stores, and hope to now introduce it to a larger audience. According to the company, ‘Just Walk Out’ and ‘Amazon One’ are already being used at select stores in the UK and US, with one of them even reporting a three-fold increase in transactions thanks to the lack of a check-out queue.
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