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Amazon is getting its IoT on with the $30 Echo Wall Clock

By mongeese · 20 replies
Dec 16, 2018
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  1. First announced in September, the Clock has built up a surprising amount of excitement amongst Echo fans, largely due to its attractive $30 price point. Even without connecting it to the internet it’s still a good looking 10” clock, making the many added features a real bonus.

    Once it’s paired with another Echo device it’ll connect to the internet and set the time itself. Its ability to check if it’s running fast or slow or adjust to daylight saving time is pretty appealing, saving you the hassle of pulling a clock off the wall and awkwardly adjusting it yourself. Its primary feature, however, is the ability to visually display and manage multiple timers, countdowns and alarms all at once.

    Just beneath the white perimeter of the Clock is a circle of 60 white LEDs, each of which lines up with a minute on the clock. When you set a timer, each LED will light up as time passes. When a countdown’s set it will light up the LEDs then turn them off one by one, and if a timer’s on then the corresponding LED will be lit until an alarm goes off on the paired Echo.

    While your phone or even Alexa herself can do all these things, there’s something surprisingly pleasant about a visual interface. Whether it’s reminding the kids (or yourself) that they’ve been playing Xbox for too long or reminding you that you can finish work in 15, a visual display on the wall may be less stressful than compulsively checking a phone or listening out for an alarm.

    What made Amazon’s original Echo groundbreaking was the way it unlocked a new way to interact with the internet in your living room (on the cheap, too). And while those kind of devices are certainly part of the Internet of Things, the Echo Wall Clock is a good example of a first generation device that embodies what IoT was always imagined to be: a standard object that adds a little bit of functionality through a connection to the internet, at no additional cost to the user.

    Permalink to story.

  2. mcborge

    mcborge TS Guru Posts: 576   +467

    So it's basically just a net connected version of an RCC. (radio controlled clock) I have two of those and they both cost under £20 each.
    BSim500 likes this.
  3. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 5,397   +3,782

    Good point. IF they had made it possible to directly connect with the internet and forget the echo it would have been a much better idea. Having the echo negates the claim of not having a mic or camera and eliminates the "privacy that it otherwise would have had ...... and having a multitude of sizes would have been another plus. Good idea, but needs some more improvement .......
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,972   +4,009

    Listen, Amazon becomes more invasive day by day.

    I was on the web a day or so ago, when Amazon somehow broke in and offered me the privilege of installing an app that follows you around the web to see what kind of merchandise interests you.

    Between that and the "Alexa" garbage, Amazon is simply trying to take away the last remnants of privacy and your last vestige of independent thought regarding how you spend your own money.

    I can think of the best place for that clock, and it would be up Jeff Bezo's a**.

    Somebody gave me a battery powered, (1 AA battery), promotional clock for the anti psychotic drug "Seroquel", and it only gains or loses 5 minutes between standard and daylight saving time resets.

    So now I need to buy an Alexa device, connect to the interwebz, and sacrifice any and all privacy I might have, just to be provided with the correct time to the second?

    Do you see how asinine that sounds when it's played back to you?

    If I want to know the exact time, all I have to do, is push the "info" button on my TV remote. Problem solved.
    senketsu likes this.
  5. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    A Clock AI would mean they can tell you the time and "THE TIME IS NOW TO SHOP ON AMAZON!"
    senketsu likes this.
  6. kira setsu

    kira setsu TS Addict Posts: 136   +114

    This seems dumb

    might be worth it if it was actually a full fledged echo with speakers and a mic in clock camo but this is just a waste and a cash grab.

    the worst part imo is that it waste the boost that speakers could have from bouncing off a wall, such a miss

    JLKIII TS Rookie

    The clock does not connect to the internet. It is a bluetooth device that only connects to a single paired Echo device, which means you can not set a timer on it from a different Echo somewhere else in the house. But with that being said, I bought one to put in my kitchen since I needed a new kitchen clock anyways. I think it will be very useful to glance at the clock for less than a second and know I still have eight minutes left on the rice, no shouting out commands to Alexa, no fumbling with your phone, just a quick split second glance.
  8. Mithan

    Mithan TS Enthusiast Posts: 70   +44

    I don't need or want any of this crap in my house.
  9. Eldritch

    Eldritch TS Addict Posts: 128   +126

    This is an Smart Wall Clock.... meaning that instead of years, you will be changing batteries in weeks or even days.
    Talk about ease of use and convinience!
  10. yes, just like the dumb 25 year old clock that hangs on my kitchen wall.
  11. JLKIII

    JLKIII TS Rookie

    Your 25 year old clock has a countdown timer that can track multiple different timers at the same time?
  12. problems with reading comprehension? The bolded part again....
    "I think it will be very useful to glance at the clock for less than a second and know I still have eight minutes left on the rice, no shouting out commands to Alexa, no fumbling with your phone, just a quick split second glance."
    you know, I look at the clock and see what time it is, I know how long something I'm doing takes, I look at the clock and know how long is left. Maybe decades of practice?
  13. Reachable

    Reachable TS Evangelist Posts: 369   +183

    You'll notice in the photograph they put a motley collection of items on the shelf to try to make the Echo not look jarringly out of place. Fail.

    Seriously, though, I looked forward to the day when one would be able to talk to one's computer. That day has come, but it's come with it all under the auspices of Amazon (or Google or whoever), which ruins it. Is there a device on the market that allows you to choose your search engine, music provider, etc., instead of having your every move recorded by and channeled through a single entity intent on delivering ads to you or selling you merchandise?

    The clock is cute. The lights on the perimeter is a great idea. My mother's old Lux Minute Minder from the 1950s gave you an analog visual representation from across the room and wasn't hooked up to mercantile Big Brother. Be judicious in choosing which "things" in your home you want to connect to the internet. Do it with no more items than is really necessary, because you're letting the world into your home, and the world doesn't always display the best intentions.
  14. beardrinksbeer

    beardrinksbeer TS Enthusiast Posts: 25

    Who needs a clock when there is time on your PC, laptop, mobile phone, microwave oven, wall oven, etc
  15. Katiedamore92

    Katiedamore92 TS Rookie

    Uh. Then don't buy it?

    I don't like country music. I don't go from country music website to country music website commenting how it won't be played in my house.
  16. Katiedamore92

    Katiedamore92 TS Rookie

    Then.. Don't buy it? Lots of people buy clocks because it works for them.
  17. Katiedamore92

    Katiedamore92 TS Rookie

    Then don't buy it. It might be useful for other people. I don't find a use for
    Then don't buy it. Other people find a use for it.

    You're logging in to say you don't find a use for a specific tool.

    I'm not a gardener and I have no use for gardening tools, I'm gonna go to the garden supply place and tell everyone there why every tool of theirs is useless to me because I just like lawn and that's just as good.
  18. Katiedamore92

    Katiedamore92 TS Rookie

    Then.. Don't buy it?
  19. Katiedamore92

    Katiedamore92 TS Rookie

    You don't have to buy anything. Don't buy it if it isn't for you. You might need a clock promoting blood pressure meds. Jesus.
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,972   +4,009

    You're absolutely correct, I don't have to buy it.

    Not only that, since this is the Op-Ed sub forum, I can comment on it, state my beliefs about it's true purpose,, or call it a piece of unnecessary garbage to my heart's content.

    I have noticed over the years, that oftentimes Techspot "rookies", very often come down on the side of something the regularly posting members are dead set against. Which sometimes gets me to thinking that they're either shills or bots. But that's probably neither here nor there.

    Since, you've encouraged me not to buy one of these clocks, I'm going to alternatively suggest you buy one for every room of your house, and another as a spare, to make up for the one I'm definitely not buying! (y) (Y)
    senketsu likes this.
  21. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,401   +627

    Katiedamore92, we get it. No need to repeat yourself again and again. Once is sufficient.

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