Amazon is a one-stop shop for all your essentials, as well as any silly splurge you've had your eye on. The company even has its own line of products, such as Alexa-enabled Echo and Show devices, that pull in massive amounts of users. Now, the retail giant is taking advantage of the benefits of such a large customer base by offering an intriguing new concept that puts the power to greenlight new products in the hands of the people.
The "Build It" program lets customers decide which new products Amazon will roll out next by having them pre-order the goods they want to see. The amount of pre-orders will ultimately determine if a concept comes to life, much like crowdfunding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo.
"If a concept reaches its pre-order goal in 30 days, we’ll begin to build it—and supporters like you will be among the first to get their hands on it," the company explained in a blog post.
The highlight of the first batch of products is the $90 Smart Sticky Note Printer, which works with Alexa and lets you make quick notes and print them out via the unit's thermal printer. It doesn't require ink or toner, so you'll never find yourself unable to print your shopping lists and reminders. The unit comes with one yellow sticky paper roll, but additional refills will be available in blue, pink, white, and yellow, like most sticky notes. The printer has already been funded, so it's now locked to a July-September release. (Though you can still pre-order your own.)
The next one is a Smart Cuckoo Clock that pairs with Alexa to help you set alarms and timers. Of course, it also has all the functionality of a traditional cuckoo clock, so you can arrange to have a mechanical bird emerge and startle you at specific times throughout the day. It features a cleaner, more modern design, but it also has an analog face and swinging pendulum for a more vintage feel. You can even set custom chimes and alarms to wake up to whatever sound you want. The clock is still in its funding stage at $80 per pre-order, with a deadline set for March 19.
The third item in this first batch is a Smart Nutrition Scale that works with Alexa to offer information about the food you eat in seconds. It pulls from a massive database to help keep you abreast of what's in everything you put in your mouth, including carbs, calories, fat grams, and more. It can also be paired with an Echo Show to provide a simple visual presentation. Pre-orders are $35, and the product has the same March 19 deadline.
If any of these projects intrigue you, exercise your right to vote with your wallet and pre-order the product(s) you like best. Then wait for Amazon to roll out a few others in the coming months. You can learn more about Amazon's Build It program here.