Let’s just call the Amazon Echo what it is

“Amazon [has] announced a new device called Echo. With a built-in, cloud connected, ‘always on’ microphone, the Echo can listen for your voice ‘from across the room,'” Greg Kumparak writes for TechCrunch. “You can ask it about the weather. You can tell it to set an alarm. You can ask it for information about Abraham Lincoln. It’s a personal assistant in a tube!”

“But let’s be clear here on what this thing is beyond that — or what it will be,” Kumparak writes. “Amazon is not in the business of telling you whether or not it will rain tomorrow. Nor is it in the business of waking you up in the morning. Nor is it in the business of teaching you about dead presidents.Amazon is in the business of selling you things — and that is why Echo exists.”

“They want their store ‘front end’ to be floating in the ether all around you, just waiting for you to open your mouth,” Kumparak writes. “The Echo is a bit like the Fire Phone in that regard; it may do some interesting stuff, but its driving force, the beat in its heart, will be to accept your money as efficiently as possible… Amazon clearly learned its lesson with the way it marketed the Fire Phone (and the $83 million worth of phones they have sitting around).”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Amazon Echo is simply the Fire Phone without the phone.

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37 Comments

  1. “…but its driving force, the beat in its heart, will be to accept your money as efficiently as possible..”

    True. But Amazon would also benefit from figuring out who you are as a consumer to target ads to you. An algorithm listening for key words is potentially more powerful for targeted advertising than any other way of tracking your consumer behavior. I have no idea if Amazon is going to do that, but they certainly can’t be blind to the possibility.

    I’m glad this story followed this one on MDN: “The FBI will not have to bug your living room; you will do it yourself”

  2. The only way to do this is when the mic and recognition system only runs on your home server. Then it triggers a web search only if the info it needs is not available internally.

    1. Years ago, 70s or 80s popular science magazine I believe featured a home automation system that had very basic voice control and ran on a popular computer back then. PET maybe.

  3. Someone who has an Echo should try repeat the following phase to Echo…
    –> Hey Bezos!! You short di*k a-hole!! Go fu*k pretty wife of yours and leave my privacy alone

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