Amazon’s $180 Echo Frames are Alexa’s first tackle sensible glasses – CNET


Amazon’s Echo Frames sensible glasses.

James Martin/CNET

Amazon is coming into the sensible glasses discipline with the Echo Frames, the corporate introduced at its Alexa occasion on Wednesday. 

The Echo Frames are a part of Amazon’s “Day One Editions,” a program for experimental merchandise which can be full however supplied with restricted availability, Dave Limp, senior vp of units and companies, mentioned on the occasion. The sensible glasses haven’t got a head-up show or a digicam on them — solely built-in microphones and a small speaker to entry Alexa on the go

The glasses seem like any regular glasses, however discreetly voice Alexa’s responses to your queries by tiny audio system by your ears. It’s also possible to swipe the facet of the glasses to get extra info, set reminders and use sensible house gear whereas on the go. The Echo Frames can hyperlink to your telephone, permitting you to get alerts by the glasses. A VIP Filter setting allows you to select what notifications you wish to get by way of the glasses, so you will not be overwhelmed with each sort of message or name in case you do not wish to be.

The Echo Frames can be accessible with or with no prescription, and weigh just one.1 ounces (31 grams) — the identical as common glasses, Limp mentioned through the occasion. 

Limp did not point out any augmented-reality capabilities, however that simplicity may make them a extra sensible on a regular basis product than, say, Google Glass — extra of a approach to make use of Alexa on the go and preserve your arms free than a revolutionary approach of experiencing the world round you. The Echo Frames, together with the newly introduced Echo Buds ear buds and Echo Loop sensible ring, mark the primary time that Amazon has made severe strikes on this planet of wearables, giving customers the possibility to take Alexa with them always. 

The glasses at the moment are accessible by invitation solely, for $180. They’re US-only for now.

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This is not Amazon’s first foray into the world of sensible glasses: At CES 2018, the corporate introduced the Vuzix Blade AR sensible glasses with Alexa integration. These $999 glasses are geared toward a enterprise viewers, nonetheless, the place sensible glasses have discovered extra widespread adoption. Google Glass famously tried to supply a set of client sensible glasses in 2013, however the firm pivoted Glass to enterprise makes use of in 2017.

Echo FramesEcho Frames

Amazon introduces the Echo Frames at its fall product occasion.

James Martin/CNET

Nonetheless, the Echo Frames probably will not be the one ones available on the market aimed on the extra normal inhabitants: Final yr, Bose launched sensible glasses with an audio element, that equally communicate aloud to your utilizing audio system constructed into their arms. Code present in Apple’s newly launched iOS 13 cellular software program suggests help for AR glasses or a headset, although no official announcement has been made. Fb additionally has the items in place to ultimately launch an AR headset or sensible glasses, although does not appear to be in a rush to take action. 

Amazon may very well be one of many first firms to carry this expertise to marketplace for customers, which might give it a primary mover benefit. Nonetheless, it must deal with a lot of privateness considerations raised by the potential of much more Alexa integration into individuals’s day by day lives. 

Shipments of AR glasses are projected to surpass 150,000 in 2019, and to hit 2.7 million units in 2023, in response to an August report from CCS Perception. These glasses will begin gaining traction amongst customers inside the subsequent few years, the agency predicts, significantly as tech giants start producing them.

For extra, learn our in-depth story Misplaced Explorers: The unrealized imaginative and prescient of Google Glass. 

Initially printed Sept. 25 at 11.21 a.m. PT.
Updates, at 11.52 a.m. PT: Provides Echo Frames options and pricing; Sept. 26, 6.01 a.m. PT: provides VIP Filter info, Echo Buds and Echo Loop info.


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