With more organizations and schools moving away from traditional books and manuals to digital content, it only makes sense that Amazon wants to be there to grab a big piece of that pie. Recently Amazon announced a new Whispercast service as a means of allowing distribution and management of Kindle e-books across all networked devices.
Basically, the new service will allow an administrator to sign up for an account that manages a group of Kindle devices. This person will then have the ability to send e-books directly to these e-readers. Whispercast isn’t just for Kindle e-Readers. The service will also work with Android tablets, the iPad, PCs or really any device with the Kindle app. With the Whispercast service an administrator can also create specific groups to make sure the right reading materials get to the correct devices.
Outside of delivering apps, the Whispercast service also allows an organization to control settings that allow access to the web browser, as well as Facebook and Twitter integration features. In the example of a school system, students can be restricted from accessing the web or other programs unless given special authorization.
This new service could make Kindle device management much easier across a large organization and also plays nicely with personally-owned mobile devices, which is great for companies that encourage employees to bring their own tablets to work. In the coming months, Amazon will also add support for application distribution on Kindle Fire tablets.
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct. 17, 2012– (NASDAQ:AMZN) – Amazon.com, Inc. today announced “Whispercast for Kindle,” giving schools and business customers a simple, scalable online tool for deploying Kindle devices and Kindle content. Whispercast provides a single access point to easily purchase and distribute Kindle books and documents for educational, marketing and employee incentive programs across Kindle devices and free Kindle reading applications for iPad, iPhone, Android phones and tablets, PCs and Macs. In the coming months, Whispercast will support distribution of Kindle Fire applications. Whispercast works with Kindle e-readers and Kindle Fire tablets, including the recently announced $69 Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Paperwhite 3G, Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD, Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ and Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ 4G LTE. To learn more about Whispercast, visit http://whispercast.amazon.com.
“Hundreds of thousands of students around the world are already reading on Kindle,” said Dave Limp, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “Today, we are announcing Whispercast, a free, scalable solution for school and business administrators to centrally manage thousands of Kindles and wirelessly distribute Kindle books as well as their own documents to their users. Organizations can also design bring-your-own-device programs at school or work using personally-owned Kindles, Kindle Fires, and other tablets using the free Kindle reading applications for receiving content.”
Whispercast for Schools
Whispercast gives teachers and educators access to millions of Kindle books, including best sellers and free classics, they can easily purchase and distribute to develop educational programs for every age group and level. And with Kindle books students no longer need to carry heavy textbooks. Kindle devices can also help meet the individual needs of students with features such as adjustable font sizes, line spacing, built-in dictionaries and the ability to add and share their own notes and highlights. Whispercast support for Kindle Fire, Kindle Fire HD and the free Kindle reading apps on iOS, Android, PC and Mac gives students the ability to explore and learn with full-color Kindle books, including interactive children’s books and websites. Schools can also register and seamlessly manage the settings on all their Kindles, including adding password protection, centrally configuring wireless connectivity to their organizations’ private networks and restricting individual purchases.
“We have been using Kindles in our schools for two and half years, and our students are more enthusiastic than ever about reading and studying,” said Keith Mastroides, Principal at Clearwater High School. “We started with 2,000 Kindle e-readers at our school and the program has been so successful that we have expanded it beyond our school and now more than 122 schools in the district are using Kindles. Whispercast gives us the ability to better streamline the process to manage our Kindles and content, so we can continue to grow the program.”
Whispercast for Business
Whispercast makes it easy for business owners to manage and deploy fleets of Kindle e-readers and tablets as a way to support employee productivity or customer marketing initiatives. Additionally, Whispercast makes it easy to centrally distribute PDFs and other business documents such as a conference agenda or training materials to employees or customers. With “bring your own device” support businesses will be able to distribute documents and Kindle books to personally-owned Kindles and other devices with access to free Kindle reading applications. Businesses will also be able to use Whispercast to purchase and distribute applications from the Amazon Appstore for Kindle Fires in the coming months.
“With Whispercast, our professional sales representatives can focus on helping our clients choose the medical information they want on their Kindle devices,” said Jim Donohue, Managing Director, Global Clinical Reference, Elsevier. “Rather than dealing with the logistics of shipping, managing and replacing physical books, hospitals and life sciences companies can now use Whispercast to immediately procure and distribute select Elsevier eBooks to their clinicians, researchers and staff.”
Whispercast for Non-Profit Organizations
Even nonprofit organizations with remote locations around the world have experienced the benefits of Whispercast. “Over the past year, Worldreader has trialed Whispercast to wirelessly deliver over 200,000 e-books to children in sub-Saharan Africa,” said David Risher, President of the literacy charity Worldreader. “With Whispercast, we are helping kids read more than ever. Kids no longer have to wait for a new book to be shipped. It is simply delivered electronically and waiting for them to start reading.”
Easily manage fleets of Kindles
With Whispercast, administrators can register and assign users to all of their organizations’ Kindle devices at once, creating personalized Kindle experiences for each student or employee.
Support for “bring your own device”
With support for personal devices, organizations can invite employees, students, customers and partners to receive content from the organization on their Kindles.
Create user groups
Whispercast gives administrators the ability to assign users into one or more groups, such as specific class, grade level or corporate department. User groups make it easier to purchase and distribute content for each group’s unique needs.
Control device settings, such as Wi-Fi and password protection
Schools and businesses can configure device settings across all their Kindles, including configuring wireless connectivity to private networks for a simple and secure user experience as well as restricting web access and purchases.
Wirelessly distribute Kindle books, documents and applications
Whispercast makes it easy for organizations to centrally distribute Kindle books as well as documents on an individual basis. In the coming months, Whispercast administrators will be able to purchase and send Kindle Fire applications. Additionally, during the purchase process organizations will be able to select which content should be assigned to specific user groups they have created.
Support for free Kindle reading apps on iOS, Android, and other devices
Schools and businesses can purchase and send Kindle books and distribute documents to devices using any of the free Kindle reading apps, including iPads, iPhones, Android phones and tablets, PCs and Macs.
Support for centralized procurement
Organizations can efficiently purchase Kindle devices and content through a single payment method, including purchase orders, as well as Amazon gift cards or credit cards.
For more information about Whispercast, visit http://whispercast.amazon.com.
For high resolution images and video of Kindle e-readers and tablets, visit www.amazon.com/pr/kindle.
Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as Books; Movies, Music & Games; Digital Downloads; Electronics & Computers; Home & Garden; Toys, Kids & Baby; Grocery; Apparel, Shoes & Jewelry; Health & Beauty; Sports & Outdoors; and Tools, Auto & Industrial. Amazon Web Services provides Amazon’s developer customers with access to in-the-cloud infrastructure services based on Amazon’s own back-end technology platform, which developers can use to enable virtually any type of business. Kindle Paperwhite is the most-advanced e-reader ever constructed with 62% more pixels and 25% increased contrast, a patented built-in front light for reading in all lighting conditions, extra-long battery life, and a thin and light design. The new latest generation Kindle, the lightest and smallest Kindle, now features new, improved fonts and faster page turns. Kindle Fire HD features a stunning custom high-definition display, exclusive Dolby audio with dual stereo speakers, high-end, laptop-grade Wi-Fi with dual-band support and dual-antennas/MIMO for 40% faster throughput than other tablets, enough storage for HD content, and the latest generation processor and graphics engine-and it is available in two display sizes-7″ and 8.9″. The large-screen Kindle Fire HD is also available with 4G wireless, and comes with a groundbreaking $49.99 introductory 4G LTE data package. The all-new Kindle Fire features a 20% faster processor, 40% faster performance, twice the memory, and longer battery life.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, www.amazon.cn, www.amazon.it, and www.amazon.es. As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com, Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent filings.
Source: Amazon.com, Inc.