Amazon is working on two new products that will be integrated with its popular Alexa voice assistant and could be released before the end of the year, according to the Financial Times.
- A smart security camera that would be compatible with the Echo smart speakers. Users will be able to stream live video from the camera on the Echo Show or through the Alexa smartphone app. Additionally, the device will send users a notification via the Alexa app on their smartphone if another person appears in front of the camera. (Note that the camera itself won’t be able to run Alexa.) The device would join a crowded field of connected security cameras that already includes Netgear’s Arlo, Alphabet’s Nest, and Canary.
- Smart glasses that would house the Alexa voice assistant and only be able to be used if the device is linked to a user’s smartphone — similar to how previous generations of the Apple Watch need to operate. Unlike other smart glasses, like Snap’s Spectacles and Google Glass, the device won’t have a camera. That means their primary use case would be the Alexa voice assistant, which could be Amazon’s way of allowing consumers to use the assistant outside the home without it being the primary voice assistant on a smartphone.
These products highlight Amazon’s willingness to expand the Echo ecosystem by moving beyond speakers, but they’re anything but sure bets. For one, the smart security camera market is very crowded, which could make it difficult for Amazon to gain a large footprint in the space. And smart glasses haven’t always proved to be popular — Google Glass famously flamed out even before it was widely available. And the only smart glasses that have proven to be popular, Snap’s Spectacles, have a camera and the ability to upload images and video directly to the company’s popular mobile application — two features Amazon’s glasses won’t share.
Peter Newman, research analyst for BI Intelligence, has put together a Smart Speaker report that analyzes the market potential of the Echo Look, Echo Show, and HomePod. Using exclusive survey data, this report evaluates each device’s potential for adoption based on four criteria: awareness, excitement, usefulness, and purchase intent. Finally, the report draws some inferences from our data about the direction the smart speaker market could take from here.
Here are some of the key takeaways:
- Amazon’s new Echo Show is the big winner — it has mass-market appeal and looks like it will take off. The combination of usefulness and excitement will drive consumers to buy the Echo Show. The Echo Look, though, seems like it will struggle to attract that same level of interest.
- Apple’s HomePod looks likely to find a place in the smart speaker market but won’t dominate its space like the iPhone or iPad did.
- The smart speaker market will evolve rapidly in the next few years, with more devices featuring screens, a variety of more focused products emerging, and eventually, the voice assistant moving beyond the smart speaker.
In full, the report:
- Showcases exclusive survey data on initial consumer reactions to the Echo Look, Echo Show, and HomePod.
- Highlights the aims and strategies of major players in the smart speaker market.
- Provides analysis on the direction this nascent market will take and the opportunity for companies considering a move into the space.
You can also purchase and download the full report from our research store.