Echo Look, Amazon's new Alexa-enabled device, was revealed today. Unlike its predecessors, the Echo, Dot, and Tap, Look sports a camera - making it the first in the series that both sees and hears.

Echo Look is somewhat of a selfie device on steroids - it allows users to take full length photographs and videos of the themselves, and then analyzes the results to provide fashion advice. Echo Look helps catalog outfits, allows users to create lookbooks of their daily attire (which helps people remember what they wore to specific meetings and events), and rates specific looks based on "machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists."

There is little doubt that Echo Look - which Amazon describes as a "Hands-Free Camera and Style Assistant" - will serve as a mechanism for Amazon to market and sell clothing. Amazon even notes that Look "helps you discover new brands and styles inspired by your lookbook." In fact, based on the information on its Echo Look marketing page, it appears that Amazon likely stores all the photos and videos taken with the device - a powerful feature, but also one that raises potential privacy concerns.

Echo Look includes a feature called Style Check that allows users to "submit two photos for a second opinion on which outfit looks best on you based on fit, color, styling, and current trends," and claims that "over time, these decisions get smarter through your feedback and input from our team of experienced fashion specialists." Echo Look also includes standard Alexa features - such as providing news, reading audiobooks and music, setting and triggering alarms, providing traffic and weather updates, and controlling smart home devices.

I also would not be surprised if Echo Look ultimately gains skills related to fitness and weigh-loss coaching -- images of people compared over time can provide great insight and tracking capabilities in that regard. Like other connected cameras, it could also potentially take on home security functions as well - perhaps even alerting intruders to the fact that they have been seen and better leave the area. Time will certainly bring interesting add ons.

For now, however, it appears that Echo Look may be an attempt by Amazon to increase Alexa usage among women: all but one of the photographs on the marketing page are of women, and nearly all the characters in the related marketing video are women as well.

Look sells for $199, but, at this point, is available by invitation only. It is certainly a sign of other future products -- and likely to disrupt how people seek fashion advice.

Published on: Apr 26, 2017
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