What is the new Amazon Echo Look, how does it work and why does it mean the death of bog-standard home mirrors?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say – but does that apply to artificially intelligent machines like the Amazon Echo Look?
The Look is the latest member of the Alexa-powered Echo family, which until now consisted of the Echo and Echo Dot speakers. However, while the other Echo devices offered a handy way of controlling your smart home gadgets and getting info in a hands-free manner, the Amazon Echo Look instead offers a smart camera alternative to your mirror.
Amazon’s latest Echo offers a view of yourself from all kinds of angles, along with the ability to share unique selfies, analyse your mug and more. This should of course help Amazon to get its Alexa smart assistant into even more rooms of more homes. Surely we’re only a couple of steps from world dominance, especially as Alexa can now infiltrate any Android phone.
So what is the Amazon Echo Look, how does it work and what will it do to change our homes?
What is Amazon Echo Look?
The Amazon Echo Look is a Wi-Fi connected camera with LED lighting that features its own stand, so it can live anywhere in your home. Thanks to built-in speakers and microphones, the Echo Look is able to use the Alexa artificially intelligent voice assistant as a means of interaction. All that means you can snap a photo and more using your voice alone.
The Amazon Echo Look will need to be plugged in constantly as it doesn’t feature a built-in battery. Of course, it’s designed to sit in one place – say, your dressing table – so that shouldn’t be a problem.
What can the Amazon Echo Look do?
The key appeal of the Amazon Echo Look is its ability to offer a 360-degree view of yourself. That means you can try on an outfit, tell the Echo Look to take a video or live view, and then do a quick twirl to see yourself from all angles.
Ideal if you’re trying a new look or outfit – Amazon is angling this device at the fashion conscious who want a good look at themselves before heading out the door. Of course, it’ll also be handy if you suspect your baby has just thrown up on your back or similar.
But the Echo Look does more than simply capture a full image on demand. You can take a glam photo using a voice command and then see it on the companion app on your smartphone. This then allows you to share the photo easily using social media like Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp and more.
The Echo Look even uses a smart depth-sensing camera to help blur the background, to create the best shot that focuses on your extreme style. But it’s the analysis smarts we’re more interested in.
Amazon’s app uses what it calls Style Check to analyse your current look. Load in two different photos in two outfit options and the app will assess which is best for you, using current fashion trends and what complements you best. Scarily smart stuff.
That app also stores all of your outfit snaps in its database, so you can go back through what you wore and when. This should be a nice and easy way of avoiding wearing the same thing twice in a row at a group gathering, as well as checking to see how your style has developed over time.
How does Alexa fit into the Amazon Echo Look?
The smart voice assistant Alexa is able to carry out your commands with a quick call of her name, so you can snap a photo, record a video and more without using your hands. This is ideal as you’ll eventually learn the perfect spot to stand in front of your Echo Look, before issuing a command for a photo or video. Then it’s a simple matter of looking at the app results on your phone.
Alexa’s other offerings are also available on the Echo Look, of course. So while getting dressed, you can ask for your commute time, traffic issues, the weather and latest headlines. You can also control your smart lighting, heating and more. If you have a smart speaker in your home, you can even control your music as you get ready, using the Echo Look as a smart interface.
As Alexa develops, more and more features will of course become available.
What is the Amazon Echo Look release date and price?
The Amazon Echo Look is currently listed on Amazon in the US, priced at $200. However you can’t actually buy it at the time of publishing this article. You can only register your interest. Sadly there’s no sign of it on Amazon UK, so we might have to wait a bit longer before the Look hits our shores.
This all feels very fashion focused and we suspect is just a way of building interest. If you’re not desperate to grab one of the first Echo devices, sit tight – it’s not likely Amazon will run out of stock as it tries to get Alexa into as many homes as possible.