Tech watch: Nintendo Switch on; Amazon launches AI student scheme
The new Nintendo Switch officially went on sale worldwide on Friday.
In Tokyo, there were people queuing at some electronics store for the game console, which cost US$299 (S$422) and works both at home and on-the-go.
Nintendo, the Kyoto-based video game giant, is aiming to sell more than two million Switch consoles in its first month.
It is a bid to reverse flagging sales and compete with Sony's top-selling PlayStation 4, reported AFP.
Amazon launches AI student scheme
Amazon has launched a new programme to help students build capabilities into its voice-controlled assistant Alexa, the latest move by a technology firm to nurture talent in artificial intelligence (AI) research.
The e-commerce giant said it is paying for year-long doctoral fellowships at four American and Canadian universities for an undisclosed sum.
Working with professors, the Alexa Fund Fellowship will help students tackle complex technology problems on Alexa, such as how to convert text to speech or process conversation.
Amazon, Google and other technology firms are locked in a race to develop and monetise AI.
Unlike some rivals, Amazon has made it easy for third-party developers to create skills for Alexa so it can get better faster - a tactic it now is extending to the classroom.
The fellowship may also help Amazon recruit sought-after engineers, whose studies will make them more familiar with Alexa than with other voice-controlled assistants. - REUTERS
Ikea to tap into solar power
Ikea South-east Asia has awarded a contract to local company Phoenix Solar to design and build a 1 megawatt peak solar system on the roof of the Ikea Tampines building.
The system is expected to generate 1.3 million kilowatt hours a year - enough renewable energy to power the equivalent of 283 four-room HDB flats.
This is expected to trim an estimated $2.4 million from the store's electrical bills over the next 10 years.
Installation of the solar panels begins this month and it is expected to be completed in July.
A billion hours of YouTube videos watched a day
YouTube said earlier this week that a billion hours of video is being watched at the online viewing venue daily.
Early last month, YouTube began letting popular online video personalities broadcast on-the-go using mobile devices, ramping up a challenge to Facebook and Twitter in the live-streaming arena, reported AFP.
Google parent Alphabet had reported that its profit in the final three months of last year climbed on growth in mobile search and YouTube.