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02/17/2021

Amazon lets customers vote on new products – with their wallets

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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smart cuckoo clock

If you buy it, the latest Amazon Alexa concept will become a reality.

Amazon is launching a new program called Build It, which ensures new products integrated with its Alexa voice assistant technology have paid orders waiting before it commits to creating the items at scale. Through Build It, Amazon will periodically present customers with Alexa-based concepts, and customers can pre-order any items they want to see built. 

If a concept reaches its pre-order goal in 30 days, Amazon will begin to build it, with pre-ordering customers among the first to receive the new product. Customers who pre-order will lock in a special price, and will only be charged if and when the product ships. If the pre-order goal is not met, the product will not be built, and customers won’t be charged. 

Amazon is officially introducing the Build It program with three concepts:

Smarty sticky note printer

Using voice-to-print technology, this hands-free smart sticky note printer that works with Alexa is designed to ease activities such as printing shopping lists, to-do lists, reminders, calendar events, and puzzles, by asking Alexa. The printer uses thermal technology, so it never needs ink or toner, and paper rolls are easy to refill. 

Smart nutrition scale

This smart scale works with Alexa to offer hands-free, instant access to nutritional information for thousands of ingredients and food based on weight. By pairing the device with an Echo Show, customers can also view nutritional information at a glance. Alexa remembers frequently used foods and defaults to those items. Customers can ask questions such as, “Alexa, ask Smart Scale how much sugar is in these blueberries”; or “Alexa, ask Smart Scale to weigh 200 calories of blueberries.”

Smart cuckoo clock 

This cuckoo clock works with Alexa and features 60 LEDs, a mechanical pop-out cuckoo bird, and built-in speakers for timers and alarms. The clock has a removable pendulum so users can mount it on a wall or place it on a shelf. Customers can also configure it to sound on the hour or schedule it to mute the sound and motion at certain times. To get started, customers can give verbal commands such as, “Alexa, set a 20-minute timer” or “Alexa, set a dinner alarm for 6 p.m.”