Less than three years after its debut, Amazon has banished its style-centric Echo Look device to the Goodwill pile. The company stopped selling actual units back in December 2019, but the company said this week it would be officially dropping support for the device in July. According to CNET (and first spotted by Voicebot.ai), emails started going out to Echo Look customers yesterday letting them know of the change, and that its capabilities would migrate to other apps and services.
The $200 Echo Look was an unusual Echo device. It used built-in camera to take photos of you in different outfits and then store those images in a personal ‘look’ database. Amazon would use an artificially intelligent algorithm to offer clothing suggestions that matched your personal style—recommendations that you would then buy on Amazon, of course. The Echo Look also judged your outfits like Joan Rivers the morning after the Academy Awards. Out of the images taken by the Echo Look, you could pick two different outfit options for the AI (and Amazon’s in-house fashion ‘experts’) to compare side by side, and the device would tell you which one looked better on you.
Both would take into account color, fit, trends, and style of the time. I never got to try the Echo Look myself, and was not even aware of its existence until today, but good riddance. There are so many different kinds of fashion, and it’s all subjective. The Echo Look was just a kitschy way to get people to spend $200 on a product so Amazon could sell them more products. But after July, those people are going to have an expensive paperweight. Amazon did say it wanted people to stop buying so much stuff off its website, after all.
The idea itself is neat, and I could see it working if it was implemented more like the wardrobe software from Clueless. But I do the bulk of my shopping on online alternative clothing boutiques, Etsy, or sometimes a personalized styling service like Stitch Fix, if I’m feeling lazy and don’t want to hunt for a pair of pants that won’t be too long on me. Amazon would probably have gotten tired of recommending me all-black clothing, anyway.
If you have an Echo Look and want to recycle it, Amazon is telling its customers to do so through its own device recycling program. You also have until July 2020 to save any of your photos, if you wish. Amazon says it will provide a free Photos account to users who want to save their photos through July 24, 2021. (There’s an Amazon Photos?! What doesn’t Amazon have?!)