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From TechCrunch:

"Amazon today is launching a new service called Amazon Explore that allows customers to book live, virtual experiences led by local experts. The experiences may be focused on creativity, learning DIY skills, taking virtual tours of far-off places or cultural landmarks or, in some cases, shopping local boutiques from around the world.

"For example, you could book a virtual wine tasting experience in Argentina, learn how to make smoked fish tacos in Mexico, take a virtual tour of Kyoto’s Temple, tour a 500-year-old mansion in Peru, learn about coffee creation in Costa Rica, learn how to make sushi from a home kitchen in Tokyo and more … The virtual experiences themselves will be guided by local experts who are trained and supported by Amazon, the company says … it’s a one-on-one session between the host and the viewer, enabled by one-way video and two-way audio for real-time communication. This is meant to give the viewer more of the feeling of really 'being there,' compared with experiences where you more passively watch the video on the screen."

The story says that Amazon Explore currently is being offered only on an invitation-only basis.

KC's View:

Next step:  Amazon Holodeck.  (There have to be some folks in Seattle working on this.)