Amazon's $199 Echo Look wants to watch you get dressed in your bedroom
Amazon's Echo platform is surely considered a success at this point, but Amazon is clearly interested in pushing on to new form factors and use cases with its artificial intelligence. The latest iteration is an altogether new type of gadget: a camera-enabled device called "Echo Look" that's specifically targeting those who aim to leave the house dressed fashionably.
The Echo Look — which Amazon calls a "Hands-Free Camera and Style Assistant" — is a rather small camera (with a microphone and speaker, of course) that sits on a base and offers you full Alexa-enabled voice actions. The main goal of the Echo Look is to help you with your style decisions, though — you stand in front of it, ask it to take a photo or video, and it'll quickly capture and send that data to your phone. It's a full-height camera so you can see everything in one shot, and a bit of magic helps blur out the background to focus on you specifically.
You can use the pictures for your own outfit analysis, or you can also invoke the help of Amazon's "Style Check," which is an algorithm-based system — backed up by fashion professionals — for helping you choose the look that's right for you. Naturally you can send out the photos to your friends as well if you need a second opinion.
Yes, this whole video and website reads like an April Fools' Day joke. And yes, at first glance it seems very creepy. But it's not a joke. The Echo Look is actually going to be on sale shortly and you can sign up for an invitation to buy it at $199.
Chances are there are enough fashion-forward people that just love to have photos of their look before they leave the house that Echo Look can pick up some sales, but it's hard to see this one catching on at the same level as the original Echo and Echo Dot. Perhaps that's why Amazon is sticking to an invitation system at the start to make sure they're going out to the right people.
Some people are already unsure about the idea of having a voice-only Amazon Echo (or Google Home, etc.) anywhere in their home, so chances are a camera-enabled gadget designed to sit in your bedroom and be available as you get dressed crosses more than one line. Even if you trust Amazon to keep the hardware secure, and even if you trust the "off" button on the side that turns off the camera, there's a good chance people will prefer to not voluntarily put a camera in their bedroom.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.