2040: Your avo toast is ready [onurdongel/E+ via GettyImages]
Same name as the Jetsons’ dog... Except it has a tablet for a head. Amazon rolled out new home gadgets at its hardware event last week, including a smart thermostat and a wall-mounted echo. The most interesting drop: a $1K Alexa-powered robot named Astro. Picture a 10-inch tablet on wheels. Control it like a metal dog, with voice commands or through an app.
Connection, still loading... Amazon will offer a limited number of Astros starting later this year. So far the reviews have been underwhelming: Amazon developers reportedly claim it's "terrible" and will "throw itself down" stairs. Still, Amazon has been building its suite of connected-home products, from Echo speakers and tablets to Amazon-branded TVs, and now robots. The goal: plant its flag in the connected home.
The smart future could unlock smart profits… The smarter homes become, the more connected hardware they’ll need to power them. That’s an opportunity for companies like Amazon to not only sell new hardware like Astro but also boost subscriptions and e-comm sales. Think: A smart fridge that automatically restocks groceries via Prime. But IoT is still early. Plus, all that connectedness requires tons of data on your home life. That could turn off some consumers.