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Amazon’s Latest Foolproof Idea Is To Let The Cloud Pick Your Outfit

The Echo Look is Amazon’s latest attempt to get a device in your home to answer questions, allow giant fast food chains to troll you, and possibly witness your murder. But it’s a lot more than a hands free camera and webcam. It’s also a bid to make Amazon a better fashion retailer.

Amazon has been pushing into fashion aggressively, and the Echo Look is pitched as a fashion-forward tool to help you decide what to wear. The webcam is basically a mirror that streams to your phone, so you can confirm whether those pants make your butt look big, complete with a depth sensor to blur the background, make your Outfit stand out, and hide the fact that you live like this. Amazon even includes an app called StyleCheck, which allows you to pair two photos of an outfit, send them to fashion experts, and get a judgment back on which outfit to wear. This, by the way, is the point of this whole exercise, to bring their version of Clint and Stacy into your home and help you upgrade your look.

Brick-and-mortar retail has been suffering recently, something that’s fairly easy to observe if you’ve been to a mall in the past few years. A lot of investors have poured a lot of money into retail stores in the belief that at least the real estate they sit on will be worth something. The one ace in the hole most retailers have is you can physically come in and try on their clothes, and that’s not an inconsiderable advantage. More than half of online shoppers send at least one item back every year, so that’s where the Echo Look comes in. If Amazon can help you determine what your style is, you’re less likely to ask for refunds. And if the camera is sensitive enough, it might even be able to tell you if that cute top you were recommended will fit.

It also means, provided the Echo Look catches on, that Amazon will soon be uploaded hundreds of thousands, even millions, of photos, and they’ll all be tied to your purchase history — not just in clothing, but across the entire site. That, of course, will make it easier for Amazon to both anticipate trends and to sell you more clothes. Or, as some have pointed out, get far more invasive, like recommending exercise products if you gain weight or baby products if you look pregnant.

Of course, all that ignores the question we all have to ask: Considering what the internet does with cameras, and the incompetence of algorithms in general, how long before this thing decides nudity is the hot new trend?

(Via Quartz)



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Amazon’s Latest Foolproof Idea Is To Let The Cloud Pick Your Outfit

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