Amazon’s first-day version of the program lags behind the company’s hardware development process. The primary class features its eco frame smart glasses and loop smart rings. Based on the initial user feedback, the company chose to continue production only on the former.
However, the idea goes further. The program is a kind of in-house crowd-funded pre-order program. Amazon votes on the ideas of a few of them and their pre-orders to potential customers. If the goal met, they will bring the product to market. If not, they spike it. This is no different from the “First Flight” program, which Sony launched five years ago in Japan.
Obviously, Amazon does not want resources when it comes to launching products. Although a system like this is not necessary, I can certainly appreciate how it lets the hardware team get a little weird with it. There have been a few exceptions from companies in recent years, including the Alexa-capable Big Mouth Billy Bus, but as a rule, large corporations often do not get to produce weird hardware ideas.
There are three products in this first batch and they run great from straight to the normal thread – at least with this round – do they all work with Alexa. I was hoping it would go ahead, but there are some clear limits to what Amazon is willing to do.
On the more mundane side is a smart stick note printer. You say something to Alexa/ Echo and it will use heat technology to print in an off-brand post. There is no ink to replace the meaning of thermal technology. The idea is that you can print grocery lists and event reminders using voice. It is $90 pre-order (like Kickstarter/Indiegogo, if prices come on the market / when it will increase).
The $35 Smart Scale designed to work with Echo Shows. You say something like, ” Alexa, ask the smart scale how much sugar is in these blueberries”, or “Alexa, ask the smart scale to weigh 200 calories blueberries” and the smart screen will display nutritional information for the amount of weight.
The most amazing / fun of the bunch are the Smart Cuckoo Clock. Following many more echo wall clocks, the proposed model added a mechanical cuckoo to the mix. There is also a removable pendulum, which allows users to mount it on a wall or stick it on a shelf. It is $80 on a pre-order.
The company is not listing specific targets but shows the percentage towards the completion of each project (no numbers are listed). Pre-orders will not charge if the target not met and the company will move on to the next project.