Amazon developing pair of smart glasses with its Alexa voice assistant, and a home security camera linked to its existing Echo connected devices.
The smart glasses are purely an earbuds-free housing for Amazon’s Alexa AI with a bone-conduction audio system. It enables the wearer to hear Alexa without need of wire.
The FT reports the glasses would wirelessly tether to a user’s smartphone for connectivity. They are also apparently designed to look like a regular pair of spectacles. So worn it comfortably.
Amazon’s glasses with microphone
If Amazon’s glasses contain an always listening microphone. It still represent a privacy concern though it’s not clear if that’s Amazon’s intention at this stage. The wearer would need to touch the glasses to summon the AI’s ear.
Meanwhile Amazon has doubled down on Echo. Turning its single breakout product into a full category portfolio with an entry level option $50 Echo Dot, a portable speaker Echo Tap, a speaker-plus-screen for in-home video comms Echo Show, and a fashion-focused selfie-taker and style assistant Echo Look.
The paper notes that Amazon hired Babak Parviz, founder of Google Glass in 2014 he says he’s been closely involved in the project. It also points to several other Glass researchers, engineers and designers having moved to Amazon’s labs. With analysis of their LinkedIn profiles.
Rivals were soon putting out their own AI-powered Echo clones, such as Alphabet’s Google Home smart speaker. Apple is also now getting in on the smart speaker game, with the Siri housing Home Pod.
Amazon’s secretive Lab 126 product development division tasked with studying the smart home market to determine which devices make sense for Amazon to build next.
It also reports that the planned Internet-connected Echo camera would be able to tie into Amazon’s existing Echo products. Allowing users to view the video feed on the Echo Show’s screen. There’s a potential privacy risk here too. If a security camera Echo device configured to connect to any camera in the Echo family.
But despite some extant tech giant competition. Home security is a mainstream concern and thus a popular category in its own right.