There's More Than Meets the Eye in Amazon's Echo Look Style Assistant

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There's More Than Meets the Eye in Amazon's Echo Look Style Assistant

Amazon continued to expand its line of smart internet of things devices with the April 26 introduction of a new device it’s calling the Echo Look, a home camera that connects to the network over WiFi and snaps a picture of a person standing in front of it. The device then analyzes the person’s wardrobe and provides on-the-fly style advice. But further investigation reveals there’s far more to the Echo Look than some fashion help. Speculation abounds that the camera could be used in myriad other ways with just a few software updates. Style is just one way Amazon will try to attract users. In the following slides, eWEEK will discuss the $200 device and explain why there could be more to this device's design than meets the eye.

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The Echo Look Is a Fashion-Forward Device

Amazon is currently pitching the Echo Look as a fashion-focused device. Users snap a picture of themselves with the Echo Look, and their picture is analyzed in an algorithm to see if their outfit is a good look. Users also can send images to Amazon, which makes an evaluation.

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It Includes Amazon Alexa Integration

Like Amazon’s other hardware, the Echo Look comes with full support for Amazon Alexa. Users also can control apps, manage their smart homes, ask about the weather and listen to audiobooks, among other things. It is like having an Amazon Echo and camera in one.

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It Works With Full Voice Control

Amazon Echo Look comes with full voice control for Alexa. Additionally, voice commands can be used to tell the Echo Look to snap a picture. There’s also a companion app that works with the Echo Look, with voice as its main input mode.

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It's Designed for the Style Conscious

Amazon’s Echo Look comes with a feature called Style Check, which tells users whether one outfit or another is best for them. To use the feature, users must take a picture of themselves in two different outfits and the images are processed through an algorithm that evaluates them based on fit, color, styling and trends. Amazon’s fashion specialists also provide their opinions.

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It's Small and Inconspicous

Amazon’s Echo comes with a standard tripod socket, so it can be mounted on a tripod as well as its bundled stand. It also comes with a microphone and camera button for privacy, and has built-in LEDs for lighting fashion shots. It’s also rather small and inconspicuous.

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Users Can Catalog Their Fashion Looks

Amazon’s Echo Look comes with a companion app that catalogs all a user’s looks in one spot. It’s also the vehicle by which users submit their photos to Amazon and get recommendations on what to wear. The app is available as a free download to both iOS and Android devices.

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Audio Playback Is Built-In

The quality of the Echo Look’s audio experience could be an issue. The device comes with a microphone array at the top and a speaker for users to listen to tracks. However, the speaker sits at the back of the device, so the sound may not be optimal.

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Will Amazon Add New Features?

Many people have speculated that Amazon has more planned for the Echo Look than just fashion. Rumors say the Echo Look could be updated with firmware that expands its features, turns it into a security camera and more. It’s possible Amazon’s Echo Look eventually could become much more than a fashion device.

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There Are Privacy Concerns

Some privacy experts aren’t so sure about the Echo Look. They wonder, for instance, what happens to the images people take after they’re evaluated by Amazon’s algorithms. And with a camera watching them, some wonder what kind of security safeguards Amazon has in place to prevent hackers from watching them in their bedrooms. All are worthy considerations and it's a good idea to turn off the camera.

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Here’s How Much Echo Look Costs

The Amazon Echo Look is available by invitation only through the e-retailer’s website. It’s available for $200 and, when it’s made available, will qualify for free shipping to Prime customers.

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