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Amazon is about to find out if being cute is enough distraction to be creepy. Astro, the new venture of the enterprise home robot, is about as big as a puppy, has cute Wall-E-style eyes on his screen and walks around the house. It is also a surveillance device intended to scan the face and voice of everyone entering the house.
This intrusion will not necessarily deter buyers. A consumer report from data firm Morning Consult last year found that Amazon is one of the most trusted brands in the U.S., with 39 percent of respondents saying they trust it “very much” to do the right thing. It has sold over 100m devices with its built-in Alexa smart assistant, which causes Echo smart speakers. It’s not a piece to allow a robot to monitor everything and everyone.
Yet the high price point suggests that Amazon does not expect Astro to cause a massive fad for home robots. It kicked off the smart speaker market in 2014 by pricing Echo devices at $ 99 for Prime members. Astro is $ 999 with an early discount 10 times more expensive. There is no clear use except safety and novelty. An ominous vice report claiming the robot was not ready for release could hamper the question.
Does not matter. If Astro is not a huge success, it makes no difference to Amazon’s core businesses. The company trades 21.4 times projected ebitda – a premium for peers from Big Tech, Alphabet, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. Its share price has risen 124 percent since early 2019, boosted by the surge in online shopping and telecommuting that has driven demand for its major e-commerce and cloud computing business. This year’s sales are expected to be $ 476 billion.
Consumer devices offer relatively little overlap with key parts of the enterprise, though the development of artificial intelligence devices contributes to warehousing automation, which is useful for Amazon’s multiplication centers. It is acknowledged that he was first, but it is unlikely that Astro will cause new ground wars in hardware.
The Lex team is interested in hearing more from readers. Please tell us if you would buy an Astro robot in the comments section below.