Amazon will release Alexa-powered smartglasses soon
Smartglasses are tricky things. The Google Glass was a disaster until the company stopped producing it for public use and repurposed it for a separate demographic. Snapchat's Spectacles are still novelty items and not something which will be used on a large-scale anytime soon. But now, according to FT, online retail giant Amazon is joining this wearable segment with Alexa-enabled glasses. Here's more
Probably taking a cue from the privacy concerns, that fuelled Google Glass' downfall, Amazon's smartglasses will not have a camera. It will provide a direct link to Alexa, Amazon's voice-controlled personal assistant, via a bone-conduction audio system. In this technology, the sound gets transmitted by vibrating the user's skull, unlike regular headphones that are plugged into the ear.
FT said, chances are these glasses would be unveiled at an event, where Amazon will also launch a home security camera that'll work with Amazon's Echo Show video screen. Moreover, rumors suggest that a new version of Fire TV, Amazon's content streaming media set-top box, will also be launched soon. This new version will have a built-in, Amazon Echo-like, speaker system.
The advent of Alexa-enabled smartglasses from Amazon's stable suggests that the online giant is focused on building upon its most successful product after the Kindle. Amazon Echo already enjoys 76% share in the US smart speaker market, according to the data available with research firm CIRP. The launch of these smartglasses and a Fire TV with Echo-capabilities will only propel it higher.
Google and Apple have a slight advantage over Amazon. Although all three have their own AI engines, Google and Apple's AIs reach a larger audience, as they are integrated into Android and iOS respectively. However, Amazon, with the smartglasses, will be able to offset its advantage. Alexa will reach further with the smartglasses than it does now while being constrained to static in-home speakers.