Zoom Coming to Amazon, Google, & Facebook Smart Speakers; Google Maps Gets Accuracy Boost; Walmart e-Commerce $ Jumps; Oculus to Require Facebook Account

Zoom for Home is coming soon to the Amazon Echo Show devices, as well as Google smart displays and the Facebook Portal line. According to engadget.com, people should be able to take Zoom meetings on such devices by year’s end. You will be able to say ‘Alexa, join my Zoom meeting’ and the like, and if your calendar is integrated into your Alexa system, software can even start your scheduled meeting automatically if you want. With the working from home explosion since the pandemic, Zoom has ‘zoomed’ from 10 million daily users last December to over 300 million by this past April.

Google is updating Maps to correctly reflect what’s actually happening on the ground with color. Thenextweb.com reports that previously, you might see an area marked as a park that didn’t show up that way…in some cases, something might be indicated as a park and actually be a desert! The update will green up parks, show deserts as a beige-type color, and snow pack areas in white. The new color algorithm can even tell the difference between dense vegetation and forest. It will be available in all 220 countries and territories supported by Google Maps.

There has been plenty reported about how Amazon has cashed in on the pandemic, as people shelter in place and order online. Now, we have information about Walmart’s growth, and it’s pretty stunning. Geekwire.com says Walmart’s e-commerce business in the US grew 97% in the company’s 2nd quarter, which ended July 31st. As for dollars, Walmart’s haul was over $110 billion for the quarter from online sales, taking e-commerce to over 11% of the company’s over all net U sales. They are now a real competitor to Amazon, although have a lot of ground to make up…Amazon reported at total net sales of $88.9 billion…that was up 40% in the quarter.

Before long, anyone using Oculus headsets will be required to sign up with a Facebook account. According to theverge.com, support for separate Oculus accounts will be pulled in October, although you will be able to use it until the end of the year. Developers will be able to keep using headsets with no Facebook account, but without any social functionality. Oculus for Business will continue with a separate login that will not be changed. Facebook says all future Oculus devices will require a Facebook login.


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