Amazon expands hardware line with new Echo Look device

Building on the hardware line rooted in their Alexa software, Amazon has released a new Echo product called the Echo Look. The device is a hands-free camera with a companion app that Amazon is positioning as a “style assistant.” Fixing what is basically a selfie camera in a device that is also running Alexa software may not be stretching technology, but some of the features in the companion app appear to make good use of the powerful computers we now call smartphones.

Hardware for the Echo Look includes a hands-free camera that can be triggered with voice commands, four built-in LEDs to help with lighting, a speaker and microphone, and a standard tripod socket for use with the included stand or use your own. Amazon also included a button to physically turn off the microphone and camera. That might be comforting to some users since the device will likely be located in the privacy of a bedroom if used as intended.

Moving into the software, the camera app included in the Echo Look makes use of a depth sensing camera lens in order to introduce background blur and help outfits “pop.” The companion app enables users to view their outfit from a variety of angles in case they want to check out how they look from behind. In this age of social networks, the app will also let users share images with others or to popular platforms.

Users can use the app to get recommendations on putting together an outfit. Amazon says they have leveraged machine learning algorithms to make this possible. A “lookbook” of outfits can also be assembled so users can keep track of their outfits and when they wore them.

With the Alexa framework built-in, the Echo Look also acts as a typical Alexa powered device that can provide information on news, traffic, a user’s calendar, play music, and everything else that comes with the assistant technology.

Amazon lists the Echo Look for $199.99 on their web site. However, for now at least they are only selling the Echo Look by “invitation” which can be requested on their web site.

Buy it now (request invitation): Amazon

About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, an LG G3, and a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Samsung Galaxy S8 and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active an active runner usually training for his next marathon, owns a MINI Cooper, and plays Dungeons & Dragons. Jeff has three mostly grown kids and a golden retriever.