A fascinating experiment that never quite took off, Amazon’s hands-free Echo Look camera, which was designed to snap photos of your daily looks and offer Alexa-powered fashion advice, has been discontinued, and its last remaining users have been notified that the $200 gadget will soon become a paperweight.
Echo Look users received an email from Amazon on Thursday informing them that the Echo Look and its companion app “will no longer function” as of July 24, barely two months away. The news was first reported by Voicebot.ai.
In a statement to TechHive, Amazon notes that Alexa’s ability to offer fashion advice has since been moved over to the Amazon Shopping app and to Alexa-enabled devices, such as Echo speakers and displays.
“For that reason, we have decided it’s time to wind down Echo Look,” the statement says.
Amazon says that Echo Look users have a year to back up their photos in a free Amazon Photos account.
First launched in 2017 and originally available by invite only, the Echo Look is a oblong device that resembles a security camera, complete with an adjustable stand, a camera lens surrounded by four LED lights, and a built-in microphone.
The idea behind the Look is that it serves up fashion and shopping advice by analyzing snapshots of your daily outfits. The Echo Look’s companion app gives you a live preview of your fashion shots, which you can edit, annotate, mark as favorites, and share on social media.
In our 2017 review of the Echo Look, our reviewer called the “easy-to-use” device a “good investment” if “all you really want is to take pictures of your outfits,” particularly given the quality of its built in camera. (Of course, the cameras in our iPhones and Android phones have seen massive leaps in image quality during the intervening three years.) However, we also dinged its AI-powered Style Check feature, which “isn’t very useful” because its “objective” fashion advice frequently made tone-deaf style choices.
Another strike against the Echo Look was the fact that its integrated camera, as good as it was at the time, lacked a physical shutter for blocking its lens, a key omission given that the Look was designed to sit on your bedroom dresser.
While the device does have a switch that deactivates the camera and microphone, our reviewer wound up unplugging the Look and turning it to face the wall when she wasn’t using it.
In contrast, Amazon was careful to include a camera shutter on the five-inch Echo Show, a display that fits perfectly on a bedside table.
Ben has been writing about technology and consumer electronics for more than 20 years. A PCWorld contributor since 2014, Ben joined TechHive in 2019, where he covers smart speakers, soundbars, and other smart and home-theater devices. You can follow Ben on Twitter.