Amazon, like most tech companies, is working on products behind the scenes. It's been rumoured to be developing a robot for homes, for instance. But now, Bloomberg claimed it's making a device wrist-worn, voice-activated device.
The unique thing about this wearable is it'll be able to read human emotions, and it could be positioned as a health and wellness gadget of sorts. It'll sync with a phone app and feature microphones that can “discern the wearer’s emotional state from the sound of his or her voice", and "eventually the technology could be able to advise the wearer how to interact more effectively with others".
It might even support Alexa. Bloomberg saw internal Amazon documents that supposedly show the Alexa voice software team and Amazon’s Lab126 hardware division are developing the device together. Lab126, if you didn't know, worked on the Kindle, the Fire Phone, and the Echo speaker. It's also the same group reportedly working on the home robot that we first heard about last year.
Bloomberg said a diagram in a patent filing for the technology showed a sniffling woman telling Alexa she’s hungry. Amazon's assistant immediately realised the woman has a cold and asked if she would like a recipe for chicken soup. So, in other words, it sounds like Amazon is making this device so that its AI can better understand you and your emotions, which seems very dystopian.
The thing is, we often hear about these far-out ideas, and sometimes they come to fruition years later, and other times we just forget about them because nothing happens. Bloomberg said it's unclear how far along Amazon’s project is and noted it may never become a commercial product.