What’s the Deal With Amazon’s Echo Look?

 

Are you ready to put a video camera in your bedroom so that it can talk to Amazon.com? 

The Amazon Echo Look serves as a hands-free way of taking selfies and videos. You prompt it simply by saying “Alexa, take a picture.” As the audio-activated device has no display, these pictures and videos ultimately wind up on your smartphone. 

So why does Amazon want people to be taking voice-activated selfies and paying $200 for the privilege? It’s all in the name of fashion. The Echo Look takes a hands-free video from all angles to make sure your outfit isn’t ridiculous. The camera intelligently senses depth and blurs the background of the image, ensuring you’re the focus of the picture. Then you can get an artificially intelligent appraisal of that day’s fashion choices. 

Echo Look’s accompanying app, Style Check, uses firsthand advice from fashion pros to tell you which outfit “looks best” between any two, taking into consideration things like fit, color, and current trends in order to form its answer. From there, it can give you style advice and clothing recommendations that are readily available for purchase — where else? — on Amazon.com. 

Amazon’s Echo devices, a suite of voice-based personal assistant hardware famously powered by Alexa, has already stirred up issues compelling legal questions about privacy: The device is literally an always-on internet-connected microphone that people keep in their homes 24/7. The announcement of the Echo Look, a camera-enabled Echo device, does little to dissuade those concerns. Those with paranoid leanings will find some solace in the device’s “camera off” button, but this doesn’t mean the camera might not end up compromised, letting hackers watch us at our most vulnerable moments, or even seeing footage pulled and used in court. But hey, at least you’ll look cool.