Cashing in on the success of its Echo AI assistant, Amazon is bringing a new version into the bedroom to help solve the daily dilemma of deciding what to wear. Called the Echo Look camera, this device will look and listen to you at all times. The Amazon Echo Look is sort of a standalone selfie machine so users can take full-length photos and videos of themselves specifically for the sake of checking their fashion choices in the morning.
The Echo Look responds to commands like “Alexa, take a picture” and “Alexa, take a video”. Basically you can spin around, take shots from all side, take selfies while keeping your hands free. Videos shot with the hands-free selfie stick can be recorded or viewed in real time. The digital home assistant does not have a built-in display, but users can see what it sees on their handset.
The device also works with the company’s Style Check, a feature of the Echo Look app, which uses machine learning to compare different outfit choices, awarding them an overall style rating. And that’s where it tries to be your BFF. The app uses a combination of machine learning and advise from experts in the style space.
The Echo Look camera, very interestingly, also recommends styles to users, which clearly is a revenue stream for the company after the hardware has been sold.
Design-wise, the device features an oblong shape, and right in front of its sits a camera, mic and LED array. The camera has a built-in depth sensor to blur out everything in the photo, except for the subject. Feature-wise it of course has the standard base of Alexa function on board, so users can also check the weather to make sure they’re properly dressed for the occasion. The device will retail at $199 (about Rs 13,000) in the US market. ALSO READ: Amazon to launch Alexa-powered Echo in India this year: Report
However, besides the help the device extends to help you make daily fashion choices, it also raises some pertinent security concerns. Bring a device like Echo Look into your sleeping quarters naturally also brings with its some inherent privacy risks. If not the camera, at the very least the microphones on these devices are designed to be always on, listening for the trigger word that lets it start transmitting to the cloud.
Obviously, the Echo allows you to turn off the microphone completely. A red slash will appear to indicate that the camera and mic have been disconnected. Or you can go ahead and unplug the thing, just in case. But before investing in such a device, it’s essential to weigh in privacy concerns. ALSO READ: Apple reportedly working on Amazon Echo-like smart home speaker