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Amazon Echo Look Puts A Networked Camera In Your Bathroom

As you've doubtless heard by now, Amazon announced yesterday that it is bringing to market a new Echo device called "Look." As you might have gathered given the name, this in-home "assistant" comes with an Internet-connected camera (oh, goody!):

With Echo Look, you can take full-length photos of your daily look using just your voice. The built-in LED lighting and depth-sensing camera let you blur the background to make your outfits pop, giving you clean, shareable photos. Get a live view in the Echo Look app or ask Alexa to take a short video so you can see yourself from every angle. View recommendations based on your daily look and use Style Check for a second opinion on what looks best. And, because Alexa is built in the cloud, she’s always getting smarter—and so will Echo Look.

Ahem.

Lets's leave aside the question of why anyone would want a dedicated camera in the closet that takes voice-activated photos of their outfits. People want all kinds of ludicrous things, and I suppose we each have a prerogative to do whatever we want with our time and our money. I mean, WTF, but more power to you, I guess.

Let's look at the only slightly invisible downsides of a product like this. It's a fixed camera in your home, marketed as a thing to put in the space where you are most often naked, connected to the Internet over the surely under-secured home networks of regular non-technically minded people, that also has a microphone on it.

Imagine a Dr. Evil or a Vladimir Putin or a Jeff Sessions designing an ideal device for oppression through surveillance. Imagine the silliest dystopia ever put forth in a 25-cent drugstore novel. Now imagine the promulgators of the above scenarios laughing at Amazon Echo Look for being too obvious and on-the-nose.

I suppose people will trade anything at all for an appeal to their vanity.