The Ick Factor Revisited

After discussing the Amazon Echo in episode 2, just yesterday I received a friendly email from Amazon alerting me that I – yes I – had been selected to purchase an Echo for the special, Prime-member-only introductory price of $99.

Me? Me?! I never get picked for anything! Whoo hoo!

But then I started thinking, and that’s seldom a good thing.

What’s the use case? I do honestly have my phone with me almost all the time. If I really needed to ask how tall Mt. Everest is or how many ounces are in a gallon Siri and Google Now are at the ready.

Music? Well, with a living room, family room, office, and kitchen that aren’t open concept that’s a tough sell too. There isn’t a single room I spend enough time in that would make sense to leave the Echo in simply for the purposes of listening to music.

In the product video, they show a family enjoying the benefits of the Echo from all around the house. I think that’s the ideal – having one in every major room to be your always-on virtual assistant and DJ. And while I’m willing to spend $100 on one, I’m not willing to spend $500 on five Echos. Technically it would probably be $900 on five of them because right now you can only pre-purchase a single Echo for $99.

So setting aside the “ick factor” of a device that might or might not be listening to my family’s every word and reporting (even in aggregate) back to Amazon’s HQ, I don’t know that the value is there for me, for now, to buy one.

I want to have a need that it fits, I really do, but I just don’t think it’s quite there yet.

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