Echos

The Amazon Echo Look – an always on camera in the bedroom is an interesting product announced by Amazon. Despite being kind of creepy, there could be something to this device. Voice computing in the home (and car) certainly feels like it could be the next “thing” in technology. The primary limitation here is that these devices are anchored (to an Echo, Echo Look, Google Home etc). An “omnipresent” device, available throughout the entire house, carried over to the car or to your phone should be the goal for this type of platform.

A few thoughts:

  • “Style Check”, a feature that lets you compare outfits with a fashion specialist seems like it could be more valuable if you are able to “Style Check” with your friends or family via a messaging app. Considering the popularity of makeover TV shows, the potential angle for “makeovers for everyone” is significant.
  • This functionality in concert with some type of express fast-food-like delivery could be hugely successful. Last minute outfit dramas are definitely a struggle for many women (and men) when going out, to work or even just for a jog.
  • The possibility of switching backgrounds using augmented reality capabilities, for example, switching the background of your wardrobe to a beach, when trying on or shopping for a bikini are one possible extension for such a device.
  • This type of functionality could also be valuable in a smartphone app. With the advancements in augmented reality capabilities and the proliferation of selfie-sticks, it is not hard to imagine a mobile version of such an app.
  • There are some serious privacy concerns around a camera like this – what happens if someone hacks/watches your camera?

Echo with a screen

The rumoured “Echo with a screen” also seems like it could be a convincing (and ugly – if the screenshots are to be believed) device. Unplanned meals and deciding what to cook in conjunction with a lack of ingredients in your cupboard and fridge is “prime” territory for Amazon to step into with an express delivery service. Delivering shortly before educating and instructing you on how to prepare the dish via voice and video certainly sounds like a winning combination. (Such a device could also be useful in a home workshop or creative studio).

Hardware differentiated by services

It certainly feels that while Apple has succeeded through hardware differentiated by software – Amazon’s real advantage is going to be hardware differentiated by services.