Amazon wants to put an Echo on your face with a range of Alexa-powered smart glasses

Update: Many had expected Amazon to use its recent launch event in Seattle to unveil a new Alexa-powered wearable. Instead, the retail giant completely overhauled its Amazon Echo and Alexa range. 

Amazon wants to put an Echo on your face with a range of Alexa-powered smart glasses

The new Amazon Echo range includes the Amazon Echo (2nd generation), Echo Plus, Echo Spot, Echo Connect, Echo Buttons, and a UK release date for the Echo Show. 

Read all about the new Amazon Echo range.

Original story continues below

Amazon’s first wearable device will be a pair of smart glasses with the company’s Alexa personal assistant built in, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The paper claims Amazon’s glasses will look much like a regular pair of spectacles, but will use bone-conduction technology so users can hear Alexa without having to use regular speakers or headphones.

The FT cites people familiar with Amazon’s plans and claims the company is also working on a home security camera system. The Amazon Echo Show already has the capability of streaming a feed from security cameras, but it’s understood the new hardware will be pitched much more directly as a security device.

The Alexa smart glasses won’t, apparently, have a screen, nor will they have a camera. Snapchat owners Snap made its first foray into wearable technology with the latter, in the form of its camera-embedded Spectacles. All the same, it’s hard not to see the potential product as a pitch for a similar market. There have also been murmurs about Apple working on an augmented-reality headset, bringing to mind memories of the original Google Glass.

The FT’s sources say that “one or both” of the glasses and security device could arrive this year, alongside a number of updates to the company’s Echo line.

Bone-conduction technology is a relatively new innovation, only recently making the leap from military hardware to consumer products. The AfterShokz Trekz, for example, uses bone conduction to vibrate sound into the ear’s cochlea, bypassing the eardrum and allegedly making for a safer listening experience.

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