Amazon Alexa Smart Home

What the hell is the Echo Look?

The Echo Look is the kind of gadget Piers Morgan and Jennifer Aniston would come up with on a series of Celebrity Apprentice, if Sir Alan set Team Vanity the improbable task of inventing something more narcissistic than themselves.

For those of you who’ve been hunting Al-Qaeda in the caves of Afghanistan, the Amazon Echo is the sleeper hit of the decade – it’s Knight Ryder in a tube, an omnipresent voice assistant without the wearying sarcasm of Hasselhoff’s ‘buddy’. The Echo has proved such a success that Amazon is now trying to implant its voice assistant into absolutely everything: she’s in the puck-sized Echo Dot, the remote-control-sized Amazon Fire TV, and a gazillion-and-one other smart home products that are currently fleecing investors on Kickstarter.

And now we have the Echo Look, a speaker-cum-Gok Wan that won’t only tell you whether it’s going to be tanking down later, but also if your jacket looks like it fell out of the Sue Ryder shop.

Now, to be fair, I’m not the target market for the Echo Look. In ten years’ time, FaceApp reckons I’m going to look like this:

This isn’t the face of a man who spends half an hour each morning dithering other the Galliano or the Armani. This is the face of a man who dithers over an overdose.

Indeed, judging by Amazon’s promo video, the Echo Look is aimed at people like this:

And this:

In short: rampant extroverts and gits.

That’s why the Echo Look has a camera and array of LEDs, so that you can take full-length snaps of what you’re wearing and get Amazon to determine whether you look like a Gok’s dinner or not. This is down to a feature called Style Check, which apparently allows you to “submit two photos for a second opinion on which outfit looks best on you based on fit, colour, styling and current trends”.

On the plus side, this might save us fellas from walking that tricky tightrope when the other half asks how she looks in a particular outfit, and there’s nothing you can say that won’t ultimately be held against you in the divorce proceedings. That alone could justify the $200 asking price.

But have we actually reached the point where we need to take sartorial advice from an algorithm? And how long will it be before Alexa is telling my other half to bin the £100 shoes she bought last week and have a fresh pair of heels delivered within the hour? Don’t think I don’t know what you’re up to, Amazon.

 

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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