When thedebuted in summer 2017, the online retailer billed its $200 smart speaker as a coach for people who care about clothing. Now, it's looking to crowdsource some of its fashion advice.
The Echo Look, which includes the Alexa digital assistant and a camera, takes full-body selfies to capture what you're wearing and provide feedback to help you decide between two outfits. The Echo Look app doled out its fashion advice based on "machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists." On Monday, Amazon sent a notice to Echo Look owners that the device's app would connect to , an Instagram-like social network Amazon created for its shoppers earlier this year, so you could ask other users what you should wear. The added integration will only work in the Echo Look's iOS app, but Amazon said it will be available for Android users soon.
The new feature isn't much different than the Style Check feature that was already in the Echo Look. You select two photos of yourself in different outfits that you've taken with the Echo Look. But instead of just submitting your pictures to Amazon, you can post them to Spark under your Amazon user name and ask community members a specific question about what you're wearing, such as "Which outfit looks best for a job interview?" You can then elect to receive notifications when someone provides feedback.
The idea of submitting my picture to strangers and asking for judgment sounds like a quick way to get my feelings hurt. And people are watching. In 22 minutes, the photos that I posted to Spark (see the screenshot) had received 12 views and five votes -- three for the outfit on the left, two for the one on the right. The votes mirror what the Echo Look advised me to wear.
Amazon said in its email to Echo Look users that asking folks on Spark for help is a way to "get input on your outfits from others who love fashion as much as you do." Amazon said it encourages customers to report any inappropriate or offensive content in Spark with the "Report Post" feature.
Update, 8:18 a.m. PT: Adds comment from Amazon.
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