Amazon is working on a pair of smart glasses powered by its Alexa voice assistant according to TechCrunch (the original article from the Financial Times is behind a paywall).
The glasses are said to feature a bone conduction audio system that would allow the wearer to hear Alexa without wires or earbuds. This would also allow Alexa to be summoned from anywhere instead of just the Echo smart speakers or the plethora of Alexa-enabled devices already in existence.
Like many other wearables, the smart glasses would connect to a user’s smartphone for outside connectivity, eliminating the need for a standalone LTE connection.
Babak Parviz, founder of Google Glass, has been closely involved in the project, as have several other former Glass researchers and engineers.
The glasses seem to be an attempt by Amazon to move further into wearables and get Alexa into more non-fixed devices. Amazon’s previous smartphone attempt, the Fire phone, failed spectacularly but the runaway success of Alexa could prove the catalyst for another Amazon device in your pocket.
The FT article mentions that the eyewear is supposed to resemble a “normal” pair of glasses so the wearer won’t look too conspicuous. Google Glass was well-known for looking somewhat geeky on the face. Snap’s Spectacles, while unique and stylish, can be distracting due to their integrated camera. Amazon’s glasses likely won’t pack a camera to avoid privacy concerns.
An Amazon spokesperson said the company doesn’t comment on rumors and speculation.