Published: Wed, April 26, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Amazon makes Alexa a fashionista with all-new Echo Look

Amazon makes Alexa a fashionista with all-new Echo Look

Since the smart home device first launched in the U.S. back in May 2016, its lack of usability in multi-person homes (as only one person's Google account could be logged in at a time) has been a key criticism the company has been working on addressing behind the scenes.

So basically, it's what you can already achieve with a mirror and a smartphone, except without having to hold your smartphone.

If the prospect of that camera being compromised either by hackers or law enforcement isn't creepy enough, don't forget that Amazon has also been working on image recognition software that can identify products from video footage in real time.

It also works like any of Amazon's other voice-activated speakers with the full range of Alexa commands, although it doesn't appear to have the same high-quality speaker as the $179 Echo, so you might not want to use it to stream music. Using computer vision, Echo Look can help you decide what shirt or dress to wear by taking a picture and running it through style-trained machine learning algorithms.

Ever since the announcement of the Echo, Amazon has been pushing its Alexa virtual assistant as a competitor to things like Microsoft's Cortana, Apple's Siri, or Google's assistant.

The Echo Look first leaked as a "security camera" back in March, and the photo matches exactly with what Amazon has announced today.

Of course, the Echo Look has all the other Echo shit built into it too, so you can listen to Spotify or NPR or whatever while trying to figure out if those trousers you bought past year but never wore are worth salvaging or should just be dropped off at Goodwill. You could argue Amazon is aiming the look at people trying to build confidence in their style, but even then, fashion is incredibly subjective and varies by age and geography.

The product is only available by invitation only at this stage, so you can't buy one quite yet. Users can set alarms, listen to the news and audiobooks, get traffic alerts, control their smart home devices, check the weather, and more. You can sign up to request one on this page. But who knows, maybe I'm wrong and Amazon is actually onto something here.

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