Tag Archive | "Teaming"

Snapchat and Amazon Could Be Teaming Up on a New Visual Search Tool

Snapchat is seeking to expand its horizons and utilize its camera to go beyond social media with a new visual search feature. This novel search capability and a team-up with Amazon could open a new revenue stream for the company.

According to reports, a new Snapchat version for Android smartphones includes a secret code for a new “Visual Search” feature. This new feature, dubbed Project Eagle, can allegedly utilize Snapchat’s camera to send a barcode or product image scans to Amazon. The retail powerhouse will then display the results of the product search.

The secret code was reportedly discovered by Ishan Agarwal, an app researcher. Agarwal then tipped off TechCrunch about his discovery. On their end, the company was quick to spot a source code in Snapchat that had a pop-up text with the lines — “Press and hold to identify an object, song, barcode, and more! This works by sending data to Amazon, Shazam, and other partners.”

The discovered code doesn’t really explain how the visual search feature will work. However, the application’s code enumerates the capacity to bring “reviews” and “sellers” to the surface, “Copy URL” of a specific product as well as “Send Product” or “Share” it with friends. These actions could be done through Snapchat Stories or simple Snap messages.

Project Eagle will undoubtedly change the way people see Snapchat. Instead of being just a social media app, it could become a clever tool for navigating retail. It can also provide the company with a new revenue source if it works out an affiliate referrals deal with Amazon.

This is something that Snapchat desperately needs at the moment. The company has suffered a loss of $ 385 million in the previous quarter, with its missing revenue pegged to be at $ 14 million. Snapchat’s stock also closed Monday at $ 13.65 per share, way below the $ 17 offering price.

Amazon is so far keeping mum about Snapchat’s visual search feature. It should be pointed out that there’s no definitive proof to indicate that the retail giant is working with Snapchat or if it’s just the end destination of the search results. As for Snapchat, mother company Snap Inc. just issued a “no comment” when asked about the rumored visual search.

One thing is certain though, a solid visual search feature could turn Snapchat into something more than a selfie aficionado’s favorite app. It could usher in a groundbreaking way for consumers to search for products to purchase.

[Featured image via Pexels.com]

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Microsoft and Amazon’s AI Assistants are Teaming Up

Usually, tech companies keep each other at arm’s length, unwilling to share new technologies with the hope of besting their competitors. However, it appears that Microsoft and Amazon, two of the major players in the AI digital assistant arena, are bent on bucking the trend. Apparently, both companies want their respective assistants, Cortana and Alexa, to get friendly with each other.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos revealed that pretty soon, consumers who are currently using Alexa will be able to link with Microsoft’s Cortana and gain access to useful tools like calendars and emails, the New York Times reported. On the other hand, Cortana users will soon be able to link with Alexa to gain access to its unique set of functionalities such as shopping on Amazon and controlling home gadgets.

The partnership between Microsoft and Amazon actually started back in May 2016 when Bezos breached the idea to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella during the CEO Summit. Since then, the two companies have been working behind the scene to make the integration a reality.

But there is the exciting possibility that more AI digital assistants from other companies could be joining the mix. While Mr. Bezos has not yet approached competitors Google and Apple to join their collaboration, he revealed that he welcomes the idea.  As Bezos puts it, “I want them to have access to as many of those AIs as possible.”

Microsoft’s, Satya Nadella is likewise open to the idea of expanding the collaboration to include other players. “Hopefully, they’ll be inspired by it,” Nadella confirmed.

However, some analysts are betting that Google and Apple will likely decline any collaboration to protect their own turf. Jackdaw Research analyst Jan Dawson explains, “There’s no reason Google or Apple would offer it because they’re trying to drive their own ecosystems.”

Ultimately, the Microsoft-Amazon collaboration will be good news to consumers. The rising availability of digital assistants such as Apple’s Siri, Samsung Bixby, Google Assistant, Alexa, and Cortana, will make your home a virtual chaos if they do not know how to communicate with each other. Imagine coming home and, after saying “Hello,” you’ll be greeted with a chorus of different voices. While it may not run as smoothly at first, the Cortana-Alexa collaboration could be the answer.

[Featured Image via Microsoft/Amazon]

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