Amazon is the largest online retailer in the world. It has over 200 million customers. Annual revenues exceed $61 billion and it's growth rate is 31.5% per year.
On a peak day, Amazon will sell 306 products per second and ship 15.6 million of those products worldwide.
According to founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Amazon's success is based upon meeting core customer expectations such as low prices and fast delivery. "I know that people will want low prices 10 years from now. I know that they will want fast delivery, he said.
But fast delivery is dependent on a number of third-party delivery services, which are struggling to meet Amazon's expectations.
So how does one of the world's leading technology innovators approach this problem? Well, he creates an off-the-wall project to develop a seemingly impossible technological solution.
Such projects are typically referred to in Silicon Valley as "moon shot ideas". Ideas so technologically ambitious that most people would consider them impossible.
Bezo's Amazon Prime Air project plans to use unmanned aerial drones to deliver parcels. Flying robots that will come to your home with your order.
It's an ambitious undertaking and the challenges are so extensive and overwhelming that it just looks like a dumb idea unless you believe this quote, "The ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do." ~ Steve Jobs.
Sources: amazon.com, forbes.com, online.wsj.com
A stuntman wearing a wingsuit invented by Tony Uragallo jumped from a helicopter and plunged 731 meters (almost half a mile) before crashing into a stack of cardboard boxes.
Reaching speeds of 130 kilometers an hour (80 miles per hour), Gary Connery became the first person to fall from the sky and land without using a parachute.
"The landing was so comfortable, so soft - my calculations obviously worked out and I'm glad they did," said the 42-year-old Connery, who has performed stunts in the Harry Potter, James Bond, Indiana Jones and Batman films.
Thousands gathered in a field in Oxfordshire, England to witness the event. The crash site was a runway of 18,600 cardboard boxes stacked 45 ft wide, 12 ft high and 350 ft in length.
“We thought it was crazy. It's one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in my life” commented renowned U.S. skydiver Jeb Corliss noting that Connery plunged headfirst into the landing.
"He is obviously totally bonkers. I'm relieved it's all over," remarked his wife Vivienne.
But inventor Tony Uragallo explained that his "bird" wingsuit technology (known as the Rebel TonySuit) can dramatically slow down the plunge. Connery also wore a special neck brace to reduce the risk of spinal cord injury while crashing headfirst into the boxes.
Sources: telegraph.co.uk; tonywingsuits.com
Jack Dorsey, the co-inventor of Twitter, is promoting his latest invention called the Square.
The square is a small plug-in attachment to your mobile phone that allows you to receive credit card payments.
The idea originated from Dorsey's friend Jim McKelvey who was unable to sell some glass work to a customer because he couldn't accept a particular card being used.
Accepting credit card payments for something you're selling isn't always easy, especially if you are mobile like a tradesman, delivery service or a vendor at a trade show.
This latest invention uses a small scanner that plugs into the audio input jack on a mobile device.
It reads information on a credit card when it is swiped. The information is not stored on the device but is encrypted and sent over secure channels to banks.
It basically makes any mobile phone a cash register for accepting card payments.
As a payer, you receive a receipt via email that can be instantly accessed securely online. You can also use a text message to authorize payment in real time.
Retailers can create a payer account for their customers which accelerates the payment process.
For example, a cardholder can assign a photo to their card so their photo will appear on the phone for visual identity confirmation. Mobile devices with touch screens will also allow you to sign for goods.
There are no contracts, monthly fees, or hidden costs to accept card payments using Square and it is expected the plug-in attachment will also be free of charge.
A penny from every transaction will also be given to a cause of your choice.
As with Twitter, it's anticipated that Dorsey will direct the company based upon feedback from users.
Square Inc. has offices in San Francisco, Saint Louis and New York and is currently beta testing the invention with retailers in the United States.
This wild new motorcycle, invented by 19-year-old Ben J. Poss Gulak, is among the latest inventions to capture attention.
Debuting at the National Motorcycle Show in Toronto, the "Uno" uses gyro technology for balance and acceleration.
It's a battery charged machine that accelerates by leaning forward and slowing down by leaning backwards.
The Uno weighs approximately 129 pounds (58 kg.) and has a top speed of 25 mph (40 klms).
Update: Since featuring Ben's invention, he has continued to develop and progress with his innovative product.
He won second place in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, and first prize in Popular Science's Invention Awards. Ben also appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and on the popular invention television show "Dragon's Den" where he received 1.25 million dollars from investors.
Gulak continues to develop and commercialize his invention while studying engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The latest prototype, known as the Uno 3, can automatically transform itself from a uno-dicycle into a conventional looking motorcycle, which allows for greater acceleration, speed and stability.
Ben shares this advice for inventors, "When you have an idea, it's easy to get discouraged. There are so many people who will tell you that you're wasting your time. The biggest thing is to not let people get you down. If you really believe in something - keep going after it because there is always a way and you can make your dreams come true.
Inventor and former Swiss Air Force fighter pilot, Yves Rossy, jumped from a plane over Calais, France and flew 200 mph crossing the English Channel in 13 minutes before landing in Dover, England.
Earlier this year he unfolded the wings on his back and flew 186 mph (300 kilometers) above the Swiss Alps.
Using four small jet engines attached to his carbon wings, he climbed at 200 ft per minute before executing a series of stunts for a crowd of reporters watching from a mountain top.
The spectacular demonstration was the first public revelation of his latest invention, which he spent five years developing.
"It is absolute freedom" says Rossy.
The inventor says his 120 lb Jetman suit will eventually be available to the public but it's still a few years away.
The flight over the English Channel was his second public demonstration. He is planning his next flight through the Grand Canyon.
Update: Yves Rossy has completed his flight over the Grand Canyon. He jumped out of a helicopter at 2,440 metres (8,000 feet) and soared over the Canyon at 330 km (205 mph) for eight minutes before deploying his parachute.
"My first flight in the US is sure to be one of the most memorable experiences in my life, not only for the sheer beauty of the Grand Canyon but the honor to fly in sacred Native American lands," said Rossy.
The Bahrain World Trade Center is the first skyscraper to have wind turbines integrated into the structure of the building.
Three large wind turbines are suspended between two office towers. The towers are aerodynamically tapered to funnel wind and draw air into the turbines.
This airfoil tapering allows the wind to enter the turbines at a perpendicular angle and increases air speed as much as 30 percent in each of the 95 ft wide turbine rotors.
The turbines supply about 15 percent of the electricity used by the skyscraper - approximately the same amount of electricity used by 300 homes.
Biomimicry Creates New Tires
Biomimicry is the science that imitates nature to create new products.
Resilient Technologies, a Wisconsin based company, has created a tire that can't go flat.
Instead of using a pressurized air cavity, the tire design relies on a geometric pattern of six-sided cells that are arranged in a matrix like a honeycomb.
It has the same ride, reduced noise levels and heat generation as pressurized tires. The goal was to create an airless tire with uniform flexibility and load transfer that would endure tremendous wear and tear and still perform well.
The best design was found in nature, which was the honeycomb.
Jay Leno Restores 100-Year-Old Electric Car
Jay Leno, an avid car enthusiast, owns a fully restored Baker Electric car that was originally built in 1909.
Proving that good ideas can be found by rediscovering past inventions, like the Einstein Refrigerator, the Baker Electric car was an idea ahead of it's time.
The crankless, gas-free, emissions-free, maintenance-free and quiet Baker was invented by Walter C. Baker of Cleveland, Ohio and was powered by alkaline batteries invented by Thomas Edison.
Jay still uses the orginal Edison batteries. The Baker can travel approximately 100 miles before recharging, which is about the same as modern electric cars, although top speed is only 25 mph.
Before Henry Ford began mass producing inexpensive gas cars, electric cars such as the Baker accounted for about 38% of the U.S car market. See the Baker Electric at Jay's website below.
Television producer Mark Burnett, famous for introducing reality TV hits such as "Survivor" and Donald Trump's "The Apprentice", created a new Inventor series with Sony Pictures Television.
The Shark Tank features inventors pitching their latest inventions to several multi-millionaire investors.
"We are looking for inventors with amazing ideas or products," says Kris Canning, Casting Producer for the show.
If you're interested in getting a chance to show your invention on television to investors, you can contact casting at the website below.
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