The quirky camera uses Alexa as a fashion advisor, but proved unpopular
Amazon sells a whole bunch of Echo products, some of which are far less popular than the Alexa-powered smart speakers and displays.
One such product is the Echo Look, which was launched back in April 2017 but was never given much attention by Amazon, didn't receive any hardware updates during its three-year life, and will now be discontinued on July 24.
This doesn't just mean Amazon will stop selling the Echo Look. It means those that have been sold, which are potentially still being used by customers, will permanently stop working. Amazon suggests that owners of the Echo Look recycle it.
Using a camera and Alexa's artificial intelligence, the Echo Look was intended to give fashion advice to owners. Owners were asked to stand in front of the device wearing their chosen outfit, then ask Alexa to take a photo. Repeat this with a different outfit, and Alexa gives advice on what works and what doesn't. The images were stored on an app, ready to be shared on social media if you so wished, or just to keep a record of your wardrobe.
The Echo Look was originally priced at $200, but in late-2018 had its price cut to just $50. It remained on sale after that, but Amazon never mentioned it during product announcements, and there was no indication that an updated model might have been in the works.
Although Amazon says the Echo Look's functionality can be performed by other Echo devices with cameras, like the Echo Show smart display (and through the Amazon Shopping app and its Style by Alexa function), buyers who spent $200 just a couple of years ago will likely be disappointed by the news.
In an email sent to Look owners, Amazon said: "When we introduced Echo Look three years ago, our goal was to train Alexa to become a style assistant as a novel way to apply AI and machine learning to fashion...Beginning July 24, 2020, both Echo Look and its app will no longer function."
How to save your Echo Look photos before Amazon deletes them
Amazon says the Echo Look will stop working on July 24. However, users then have a year to backup the photos taken by their Look to a free Amazon Photos account. These images will remain available for backup until July 24, 2021. If they aren't backed up to an Amazon Photos account by then, they will be deleted.
If you already have an Amazon Photos account, your Echo Look images and videos will be automatically uploaded there after July 24. Amazon says: "You are not required to back up your photos and videos; however, if you do not create an Amazon Photos account by July 24, 2021, your photos will no longer be accessible to you, and will be deleted in accordance with our policies."
If you would like to delete your Echo Look photos and videos, go to the Echo Look app then navigate to Settings > Account > Delete all images and videos, but you must do so before July 24, 2020. If you decide you want them deleted from Amazon's server after that date, you'll have to call up customer services.
The move suggests Amazon wasn't able to drum up enough interest in the device. If it had been a success, Alexa would likely now have a good understanding of the wardrobes (and therefore fashion buying trends) of many Amazon customers, giving the company a powerful insight into fashion retail.