Some people have a natural sense of style. Others need a lot of help to bring them up to the level. If you’re the latter, chances are, you need assistance to get your personal style in order. You need someone who can whip your wardrobe into a much better shape.
A wardrobe stylist is probably the first thing that will come to most people’s minds in that situation. These consultants can pick out clothes that suit you, teach you how to match garments, and provide pointers on how to properly accessorize each outfit. Basically, they’re the ones who can give your personal dress style a proper makeover. However, there’s a reason why most people don’t hire fashion consultants – it’s just not the kind of service a regular individual can justify paying for, especially at the rates good consultants will typically charge.
That’s where the Amazon Echo Look comes in.
An AI-powered style assistant, the device can catalog your looks, evaluate each outfit, and make clothing recommendations based on its evaluations. That’s right, Amazon built a robotic wardrobe stylist, so ordinary folks can leave the high-priced consultants to celebrities that can afford them and rely on a well-trained machine algorithm instead. Sure, it’s probably won’t be as effective as an experienced image stylist, but for making incremental improvements over time, it just may prove itself to be a worthy investment.
Equipped with a camera, the Echo Look can take photos of your daily looks and store it in the companion app, where you can browse your own fashion catalog as if you’re going through a digital lookbook. Except, you know, with you modeling the outfits front and center. You can take full-body photos as well as 360-degree videos of each look (the device will prompt you when to turn), with the app automatically blurring the background to make sure your outfits pop.
The app allows you to mark favorites, compare styles, and survey each outfit, complete with support for Amazon’s Style Check, which uses a combo of machine learning and input from fashion specialists to help users figure out what to wear (or what pieces to add to existing outfits) based on fit, color, styling, and current trends. It’s sort of a two-way interaction, by the way, so the app will know when you think its choices are off, allowing it to better learn your personal style preferences over time.
The Amazon Echo Look has a camera that you can activate via voice commands, with four built-in LEDs surrounding it to ensure every single shot is properly illuminated, regardless of the ambient lighting. Depth-sensing technology allows it to separate the foreground from the back, giving it the ability to blur the background in an accurate manner, so you’re always the center of attention every single shot.
This core function makes it quite a unique application for an erstwhile common object (a camera) – one that hasn’t really been explored by anything else before it. Will people take to it? We’re not sure. Given how much people seem to love selfies, however, a device that’s dedicated to cataloging your daily looks sure sounds like it has an audience readily awaiting its arrival. I mean, people already catalog their lives on Instagram in a similar way. Wouldn’t it make sense those same folks would want to see themselves starring in a fashion lookbook, too?
Like other products from the Amazon Echo line, it comes with an integrated speaker that allows the Alexa virtual assistant to interact with users. As with those other products, you can ask it for information, tell it to play music, or use it control your smart home devices. It’s also compatible with the thousands of Alexa skills you can download from Amazon, so you can use it to get an Uber, order a pizza, or perform one of the goofier skills (like jokes or fortune-telling) to keep the kids entertained.
It pairs that speaker with a 360-degree microphone that ensures it can clearly hear your voice from anywhere in the room, so it doesn’t matter where you place it – there’s a good chance it’s going to hear every time you utter the wake word “Alexa.” Being a camera, the Echo Look’s placement matters (you can’t set it down on the floor, unless you only want to photograph your feet), so Amazon integrated a standard tripod socket that lets you set it up at an elevated level, regardless of the layout of the room. Heck, with a tripod in tow, you can use it in the sidewalk, the roof of the house, or the middle of the desert if that’s what you feel like doing.
A Very Niche Product
If all of this sounds like a very niche product, well, it is. As far as we can tell, there’s no precedent to this kind of functionality and it isn’t clear if there’s an actual audience for a device like this. With that said, many pundits also had doubts when Amazon put their digital assistant in a speaker form factor – a move that has since proven to be a stroke of brilliant execution. So much so, in fact, that all the big companies with virtual assistants (Google, Microsoft, and Apple) are now doing the exact same thing, with even more likely to follow.
Should Amazon succeed with the Echo Look, however, it could turn out to be a big break in their quest to expand their fashion endeavors, which includes their own private label brands, on top of the huge retail business from their e-commerce website. Just imagine: millions of users saving pictures of clothes they actually wear on Amazon’s servers. That’s a massive database of real clothes that real people wear – one that can intelligently inform the company’s deep-learning systems about the brands, styles, and outfits their customers actually like. Simply put, this product is bound to help them in more ways than one.
Available now, the Amazon Echo Look is priced at $199.99.