So Amazon is out with a new take on its popular Echo smart home speaker that is geared towards helping people pick their outfits. And by people, I’m talking primarily about women. Not sure how many guys would actually use the Echo Look, or at least admit they use it.
Anyways, here’s what you need to know about the Look. It’s basically the normal Amazon Echo – so play music, set alarms, get weather updates, ask questions, control other smart home devices, etc. You probably know by now what you’re getting with the Echo devices. But the Echo Look also comes equipped with a hands-free camera that also has built-in lighting, depth-sensing capabilities and computer vision-based blur.
So what does this mean from a practical standpoint? You can take full-length photos and videos using just your voice to check out how you look and see whether you should switch out that cashmere sweater that’s been hanging in your closet for years for another shirt. Now another big feature of the Look is what Amazon is calling their Style Check service, which combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists Amazon has gathered. So that means you can take two pictures of yourself in different outfits and Style Check will give you a recommendation based on current style trends. It also keeps a history of all the outfits you have worn so if want to go back and see what you wore on a certain day, you can.
My gut reaction evokes a slight bit of skepticism – I don’t know…can it really be that much better than a mirror? Is the Style Check service really that helpful? My esteemed, award-wining colleague, The Payne Train, brings up another good point regarding security concerns that consumers have become worried about with these smart home devices. Will that camera always be watching what’s going on in your bedroom? Is the Echo Look just a smoke screen by Jeff Bezos to get a live look in the bedroom of millions of women?
All jokes aside, you can get the 2nd Gen Echo Dot for $150 less…that’s nothing to sneeze at. But I’m a guy – I can barely manage to find a t-shirt that’s less than three years old in my closet and really couldn’t see myself using the camera. Women on the other hand – first thing if you’re reading this, SUP – I know how obsessive you can be about your clothing. So from a woman’s perspective, I can actually see it making sense considering it’s only $20 more than the Echo. I’ll be interested to hear the feedback from women – maybe Jeff will pony up the money and get one for his girlfriend.