Domestic robots are a novelty that Amazon is trying out with a few early-stage customers. exploring ahead of the curve. Stitch an iPad and a Rumba together, and you'll get Astro. Except that Astro won't vacuum and that to be honest it's pretty useless at this point.

Amazon Astro Review: Why My Family Loves and Hates This Home Robot
Amazon’s first roving at-home helper promises to deliver you a drink, guard your home and entertain you. Here’s what it was like to live with it for two weeks.

So why should you pay attention still?

  • Amazon plays the long game and is never afraid to try out technology not mature enough in new market segments to probe ahead of the curve.
  • Moore's law always ends up pushing to a productive zone what looks underpowered and silly today.
  • The product might be useless for now, but it indicates how Amazon wants to harvest more consumer data everywhere and in real-time.
  • It also indicates how Amazon wants to push the connected home paradigm and expand Amazon cloud services to more business partners.

At this stage, Astro is just what were the early PDAs to the current iPhone. The product itself might be useless but it maps how the technology tectonic plates are moving. And the first obvious beachhead to the future market will be elderly people and people lacking autonomy in general.

How many years before Astro gets useful with these canaries in the mine?

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