Looks like Amazon's going to try to succeed where Google and Snapchat have more or less failed. Alexa, remind me to tell Bezos to cool it for a minute.
According to a report from the Financial Times by way of CNet, Amazon is currently working on a pair of Alexa-enabled smart glasses. The Chron says that many of the reports are just rumors from anonymous insiders at this point though, as Amazon has thus far declined to comment on whether it's working on the project or anything similar.
The idea is that the glasses would tether to your smartphone or other Echo/Alexa-enabled hardware, giving you even more ways to ask for a Domino's pizza or to play something on Spotify. The kicker is that it wouldn't use headphones or earpieces to speak to you; it's said that they're looking into using bone conduction technology, which essentially sends vibrations through your upper jaw to your inner ear, where it's interpreted as sound.
Aside from that, though, details are slim on what makes this pair of "smart glasses" smarter than the much-maligned Snapchat Spectacles or Google Glass. The latter has seen its fair share of backlash, especially here in the Bay Area, as we've shared in our own pile of coverage on wearables. Since then, Google Glass is now more or less relegated to business use, as it's being marketed mostly to companies in the health care, manufacturing, and energy industries.
Snapchat's cheaper entry into the wearables market, Spectacles, hasn't been too well received around here, either. In February, Venturebeat said that "no one in San Francisco wears Spectacles."
Late last year, it was said that even Apple was trying to get into the glasses game, as rumors abounded that we'd get something similar to what Amazon's rumored to be working on here. But Apple also recently doubled down on their own already-released wearable, the Apple Watch (or Watch, as they keep insisting), which just recently saw an update and has transitioned from glorified pager to actual wrist-phone.
Amazon's edge is that they're entering a market where speaking to hardware is only just starting to be a little more commonplace. Granted, people still tend to poke fun at the always-listening devices, but even so, the presence of voice-enabled assistants has seen a marked increase as of late, according to a report from market research firm Parks Associates. Whereas before, if someone was talking to their Google Glass, they might be met with some strange glances, now, people may arguably be more likely to just write such an encounter off altogether.
This is of course not to mention the possible security and privacy issues that comes with always-on wearables, but as this is still just a rumor with no project details attached, it's hard to comment on what Amazon might be doing in that regard.