We're only just scratching the surface these days of how connected devices and machine learning can affect our lives. Some answers are subtle, some less so. I wouldn't have pegged "fashion guide" as the next step for machine learning, but Amazon says otherwise. Amazon just unveiled its new Echo Look "style assistant."
The Echo Look gives Alexa a set of eyes with the intent of helping users look their best. The included camera features depth-sensing and background blurring as well as built-in LED lighting. The device pairs with a companion app which includes a feature called Style Check. This feature uses machine learning algorithms combined with advice from fashion specialists to make a judgment call on the user's outfit. Amazon also claims the companion app will also suggest new brands and styles based on previously-captured images. The more information you give it in the form of outfit photos, the better the Echo Look's ideas should be.
In addition to these new fashion-forward functions, the Echo Look can perform many of Alexa's actions like setting alarms, checking the weather, and playing audio books. Amazon says it will continue to add additional Alexa functionality to the Look as time goes on.
The device is only available by invitation right now and costs $199. The Echo Look's current use-case seems to be pretty focused on getting people to spend more money on clothes on Amazon, but if the company builds more interesting functionality into the device, it could become an indispensable tool for other tasks.