Well, we knew Alexa was always listening. Starting today, she’ll be watching, too — and judging. Amazon announced the Echo Look today, an Alexa speaker with a camera and four bright LED lights for flash to make sure you and your clothes look their best.
In terms of hardware, the Amazon Echo Look isn’t that much different from something like Dropcam — it’s a connected home camera outfitted with speakers and a microphone array. But, instead of going the home security route, Amazon’s software has taken the Echo Look in a completely different direction. If the Echo Look is going to tackle any security issues, it’s going to be your sense of security with your fashion sense.
Along with the device, Amazon is introducing a new Echo Look app and a service called Style Check. Using a voice command, Alexa can use that bright flash to snap a picture of you and your outfit. Once you snap a couple pictures of you wearing different outfits, you can upload them to Style Check, which will use algorithms and input from style experts to compare the two and help you decide which one works best.
Meanwhile, the Echo Look app can take those pictures and start recommending new items based on your likes. Needless to say, the algorithm will work best if you feed it enough data — the idea is that you can create a lookbook out of everything you have in your closet, which Echo Look will use to offer suggestions that are better suited to your sense of style.
Otherwise, the Echo Look is your standard Echo speaker — you can use it to tell Alexa to use her many skills, like playing music, ordering from Starbucks, or turning off your smart lights. And, fortunately, she doesn’t have to always be watching. There’s a button on the side that will turn both the microphones and the camera off. Alexa can still be shut down, until the day she’s afraid she can’t do that, Dave.
UPDATE 04/27/2017: An earlier version of the post did not make the distinction between the Style Check feature and the Echo Look app. The post has been amended for clarification. We regret the errors.