Saturday, July 29, 2017

Alexa’s Got a Screen – Assessing the future of the Newish Amazon Echo Show

As if flirting with the title of Richest Man on earth is not enough, Jeff Bezos and Amazon have begun a push to enlarge the Amazon ecosystem even further by giving the adding a visual interactive platform to the Amazon Echo. This new device, called the Amazon Echo Show, is essentially the Echo with a screen.

Of course, the Echo Show’s interface is no ordinary screen. Having learned some lessons from its Amazon tablet misfires and never one to waste any resources, Amazon has created a screen that is more visually stimulating to support a software platform that takes over the users home. All you have to do is power-up the Echo Show and sign-in to your Amazon account and the device automatically accesses all smart devices in the home, installing itself as the new central control hub for the house and probably your life! Dramatic? Maybe. True? Absolutely! This first-generation Echo Show is the introductory salvo in the new frontier of AI’s penetration into the consumer’s most sacred sanctuary – our homes. My expectation is that as the Echo Show gains prominence and popularity across homes in the US and abroad, its ability to learn our habits grows exponentially, based on the multiple sources of data it can access. As such, the Echo Show is bound to provide a wealth of consumer information for Amazon to mine and compile in a manner that better tailors advertising to the tastes and sensibilities of the household. With the benefit of a screen and potential projection capabilities, I expect it is only a matter of time before the Echo Show is able to anticipate our consumption needs and tailor advertising to meet our expected demand. In addition to telling us what the weather will be on any particular day and what important events are on our calendar, for example, the Echo Show may eventually turn the TV to our favorite news channel, place our dinner order to our favorite restaurant and even tell us about the latest pizza place that has opened up two blocks from our home, in line with the customized marketing that can be accomplished with such a device. The future is truly upon us all.

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