21.09.17

Amazon working on Alexa-powered “smart glasses”

family of amazon alexa devices for smart home

The wearable market is not often considered to be at the forefront of emerging technology, yet Amazon believe differently. Word is that the retailer is working on smart glasses to support hands-free control of Alexa devices, as well as a security camera, in its bid to offer the complete home control package.

Amazon Dot. Amazon Echo. Amazon Show… Amazon Glasses? This may just be the product roadmap for Amazon right now according to information gathered by the Financial Times.

Google may have tried and failed (well, perhaps not in some environments) to make wearable technology a thing, but Amazon reportedly want to give it a good crack. And it has hired a significant chunk of the engineers and designers (including Google Glass founder himself, Babak Parviz) to help them develop their own product.

It’s said to be working on a system that uses bone conduction to transmit sound and allow users to summon Alexa anywhere, taking earbuds out of the equation. Its offering also omits a camera – something seen as a privacy concern with Google’s offering.

Hypothetically, users will still need their smartphone to use the “Alexa” glasses, which connect to it via Bluetooth to get onto the internet and allow users to have Alexa’s dulcet tones in their ears.

The glasses are supposedly designed to have the appearance of a regular glasses and they simply have to utter a pre-defined wake word to communicate with Alexa.

Amazon first patented the idea back in 2015 so clearly have invested a lot of time and effort in trying to make wearables happen.

Word from FT is also that Amazon’s first offering for the home security market is also on the way. The internet-enabled camera will apparently integrate booth Alexa devices, allowing monitoring feeds to be directly beamed to the Amazon Echo Show.

So far there’s no official word on a possible time-frame for introducing the glasses or security camera (possibly going to be named the “Echo Protect”), rumours suggest “one or both” of the products may arrive this 2017, in addition to a much-anticipated Echo update.