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May 2017 Retro Gaming Article


May 9, 2017 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Worried about Alexa listening in? Amazon's “Echo Show” lets her watch you too :)

Armed with new visual abilities, Alexa will show relevant images for your queries and host video chat between devices.
I love my Echo Dot. It's ability to build my shopping list, from my shrieks in the kitchen, and then placing my panicked requests for peanut butter onto my phone is worth the price alone! Alexa's pleasant voice responds to rudimentary questions and engages deeper in specific areas making the whole experience pretty darn good for $49. And let's not forget her ability to stream music. It's a slick device!

Amidst security concerns about the original Echo, I'm certain the Show can't see you.
Amazon just released a "video" version with a small screen. In addition to adding a relevant image to your requests, Echo Show will also allow Skype-like communication. While I suppose this is a logical progression for the Echo line of products, I wonder if it's too soon.

The Echo is quite robust and useful for an inexpensive device, but adding "video" to it doesn't seem to add much more. For me, it adds more to the cost than the functionality it offers. I won't pay that much to see a picture on it's screen.

I like Alexa being an "out of the way" assistant. I don't need to focus on her location. Gaining value from her presence is as simple as calling out to her. A video screen makes me focus on her physical location. Naturally, Amazon wants Echo appliances to facilitate more sales from it's expansive offerings. Pairing an image with that shopping experience may increase sales, but what does that offer me? Not a whole lot.

I think bringing Echo into the video realm necessitates more robust features and benefits, for me to need a screen on it. I like the idea very much, but I'l wait and see what offerings begin to emerge from it's screen.

Im sure a new round of security concerns will mount, but I think the recording concerns are closer to paranoia than reality. However, the Show's camera will likely raise eyebrows. Personally, I feel the probability of spying is quite low. We all want privacy in our own homes, but if the device is hacked, it's more likely it will play Doom, not spy on you!

Amazon's Echo Show "Alexa, what is your favorite portable gaming device?"

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