Can Amazon Deliver a Compelling Wearable? The Amazon Watch Gambit

by Tim Sloane 0

Amazon is the giant in eCommerce and this interesting speculation by Jason Perlow on ZDNet suggests several ways in which Amazon could capitalize in its eCommerce position and its AWS cloud service infrastructure to create a compelling Apple Watch killer:

“Ideally, I think Amazon would take more of a sports band/minimalist approach than a fully independent device approach. Like the Microsoft Band, it would have to be cross-platform compatible, and would need to be able to inter-operate with any iOS or Android smartphone on the market, just as their Store and Kindle apps do today.
Amazon has a few things that would make a “Fire Watch” or “Fire Band” a compelling product. The first of which is that the company runs the 800 pound gorilla of cloud services in the form of AWS, which could be used for personal data health analytics gathered from the watch’s sensors which would be synced to the cloud via the smartphone or tablet of your choice using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity.
But even more importantly is what this means as a revenue generation opportunity for Amazon’s ecommerce business. Your personal analytics would indicate calories burned and how many miles you walked, ran, or biked. It would know how many hours a night you’ve slept and could even constantly monitor your body temperature, oxygen levels and other key metrics, which could give you important notifications about your overall vitals.
That’s a perfect opportunity for the watchface, at the appropriate time, to show you protein bars, athletic clothing and fitness accessories and all kinds of other stuff, which you could buy instantly with just a tap of a finger on the watch.
That’s just what Amazon itself could do with health analytics. 3rd party developers could plug into this analytics cloud and sell Fire Watch apps that could do all sorts of other things depending on what you were interested in.
Besides body sensors and GPS, the watch could conceivably be equipped with a small laser diode or a low-resolution camera good enough to do UPC scans of products, so that whenever you were in a brick and mortar store, you could do instant price checks and then buy it cheaper on Prime, straight from the watch.
Because the purpose of this device would be to ultimately sell you products and services — just like the Kindle, the Kindle Fire, the Fire TV and the Echo does — the price of such a smartwatch could be well below its competitors. Amazon could conceivably offer this at a steep discount to existing Prime members, as it does with the Echo.
Or it could sell the watch with a free year of Prime to new customers.”

Jason has put forward several ideas that are a lot of fun to consider as an observer; but which might be a tad unnerving to competitors in this space.

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Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group

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