The e-tailer, content powerhouse, and hardware maker is reportedly readying a pair of smart glasses embedded with Alexa technology - the virtual assistant that Amazon launched in 2014 within its family of Echo smart speaker devices.
The Financial Times also reported that the smart glasses will sync with a user's smartphone for connectivity and will be created to look like a regular pair of spectacles. In 2016, Amazon began expanding the range, releasing the smaller Echo Dot, the Echo Look camera and the Echo Show with a screen.
Amazon hired Babak Parviz, founder of Google Glass, a few years ago, which adds even more credence to the development of a pair of spectacles. With a set of Alexa-enabled glasses, Amazon could be set to ride the wearable wave, too.
If Amazon really is working on Alexa-powered smart glasses, it must not forget to learn from the failures of Google Glass. With current Echo devices, users say either "Alexa" or "Echo" to activate Alexa.
Amazon is also working on a connected security camera to work with other Echo products, the report said. These also won't include controversial features like a camera.
Amazon will hope that the glasses will strike the right balance between the over-engineered Glass and the novelty Snapchat specs, which also brought with them privacy concerns for their ability to take clandestine photos. "Now, you can ask Alexa to play a video, show you your calendar, dim the lights, and much more-using just your voice", said Kevin Keith, General Manager, Amazon Devices. And while the prominence of smart speakers has grown exponentially thanks to players such as Amazon, whether it can influence the smartglasses space in a similar fashion remains to be seen.
The Echo was launched in the USA in November 2014, and was slowly rolled out to the United Kingdom and Germany over the next two years. Bone conduction technology is a type of audio system that transmits vibrations through the bones of the inner ears straight to the cochlea.