That Amazon may be all in all

Amazon's extended product portfolio exemplifies theses of the GDI study "The End of Consumption". Smart gadgets like the newly announced "Echo Frames" combine the physical, digital and mental worlds.

The evolution leading to the end of consumption has already begun. By the end of the 21st century there will be little that resembles what we recognize today as products, stores or transactions.

The GDI study "The End of Consumption" describes how this development could take place. The physical elements of consumption are increasingly intertwined with digital and mental components – so closely that new realities, new worlds are emerging. A distinction between artificial and natural becomes impossible. US computer engineer Danny Hillis uses a quantum physics term to describe this development as "Entanglement": a kind of twisting or interlacing that goes beyond the familiar either/or.

In this way we will encounter a mixed reality with networked products, services and infrastructures; it will interlock with a virtual world of consumption in which digital products are configured according to our wishes (synthetic consumption).

Ende des Konsums Amazon

The theoretical model of this “Entanglement” is already a reality with Amazon. Amazon’s Alexa wants to be with us wherever we are. If the echo-based products, including the Echo Loop (a smart ring), Echo Buds (noise-suppressing earphones) and Echo Frames (smart glasses) are inserted into the Yin and Yang model of the Entanglement, it becomes clear how Amazon wants to link the ecosystem of virtual and real consumption.

The latest gadgets are quasi body interfaces (mouth, ears, eyes) that connect the physical world with the digital and mental world. Whenever a wish arises, Alexa is there – ready to entertain, dress, or feed us. Amazon masters the whole spectrum; from analogue consumption, to mixed reality, to synthetic consumption and drives it forward with innovative concepts.