Introducing the Amazon Echo Look. This is the latest addition to the Amazon Echo line powered by Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant. It is interesting because now for the first time Alexa can listen to you and watch you.
With the Echo the device constantly listens to everything that goes on, and keeps 2 mins (I believe) in its buffer that is constantly being overwritten. This is so it can recognise the “Alexa” wakeup call, and keep track of conversations you may have with it. Will the camera have anything similar? Will the camera be able to record you even for a moment when you do not know it? What about apps developed by Third parties that are somehow approved and enabled on the device? Is there any possibility (however remote) that someone could “hack into” the Amazon Echo Look and access the video feed when you are not watching?
The very fact that it’s designed and marketed for looking at what you are wearing means that it’s incredibly likely you would be getting dressed in view of it, so the potential for embarrassment could be large!
I have to admit though, there is a certain voyeuristic (or exhibitionist?) appeal to the idea of having a camera facing you that you do not know “for sure” is safe. That slight uncertainty that someone may see you can be quite scary, and that scary can be exciting. It makes you feel a little vulnerable and that can be appealing to some (it is sometimes to me). This is interesting to me as feeling vulnerable is a submissive trait and I do not feel submissive. I tried it, and I failed! I like to be in control too much. I think with this though it’s maybe more of the fact of the uncertainty. You do not know for certain…. although you are pretty sure that no-one is watching. The fact that if someone IS watching, you have no idea who it is, means you are not really submitting to anyone so it seems different. It is still a weird feeling though.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe most people will either simply be horrified about the idea of a camera potentially watching them, or maybe some will simply love having another social media outlet “Hey, look at my outfit for today!”. I am somewhere in between I guess.
I think if I am honest, I would be totally fine with an “intelligent” camera watching me all day and potentially conversational with me. What about if you are just getting on with what you need to do, changing clothes and the device suddenly chimes up with “Hey, nice ass!” or “Sexy panties!” would that be scary, boring, or just plain weird? Having said that I might even be ok with that but the big question is, where is that data stored, and how is it processed? Is that locally dealt with (on the device itself) or is it processed by an external service? How secure is that external servce and WHO has access to that data? Do I TRUST this service?
With the original Echo Dot I currently have I have decided I probably DONT trust the service, but as it is just voice data I am not really worried. I am not going to be discussing illegal things where it can hear (or anywhere else actually), so I am not worried about that. I guess the worst possibility would be recording more personal sounds. So bluntly, what if it records the sound of an orgasm or something personal like that? Honestly I don’t care, it’s not something that is easily going to be associated with me by any real person and if it means that someone, somewhere gets to learn I might have an orgasm…… big news? With a camera, the question of if I trust the service becomes more important (maybe) as I may care more if I don’t trust them. Well its the same people, so no, I don’t trust them. Do I care?
What about if I thought there was a possibility of a real person looking at that video feed? Am I as accepting? Honestly, I believe I would be ok with it if I was sure it would NOT be seen by anyone I know. If people get to watch the video feed of me, then to be honest, if they choose to watch it then they deserve what they get! I guess the worry would be that the feed is passed along till someone I know DOES see it!