Amazon Is Making Alexa-Connected Smart Glasses

September 20, 2017 - 2 minutes read

The fizzled hype (and missed opportunity) of Google Glass remains fresh in memory. Of course, as we wrote a couple months ago, Google Glass has come back in a big way and found its niche in factories and warehouses. But as the buzz around augmented reality reaches fever pitch in the tech world, many Denver IoT app developers wonder if maybe Glass simply came around too early. It appears that that’s what the people at Amazon’s Lab 126 are thinking.

Leaks indicate that Amazon’s product development lab is tinkering with Alexa-connected “smart glasses.” It appears that the online retail giant has recruited several members from the Google Glass team to bring this product to life. These wearables, however, will differ from Glass in some crucial ways. Aside from the obvious Alexa connection, Amazon’s glasses are expected to skip out on the creepier aspects of Glass, like the camera and screen that so bothered those concerned with privacy (not to mention anybody who wanted decent battery life). Given the vogue for AR right now, it seems to most IoT app developers that Amazon would want to ditch the no screen thing eventually. Otherwise, the company risks falling behind competitors like Apple and Facebook who are hard at work on their AR goggles.

But for now, the main goal and draw seem to be an instant connection to Amazon’s increasingly popular voice assistant Alexa. The glasses are designed to look like, well, glasses. They allow Alexa to communicate with the user via a bone-conduction audio system that makes headphones unnecessary. IoT app developers have wondered how Amazon’s voice assistant could compete with Siri and Google Assistant without being a native feature in a smartphone (especially after the Fire fiasco). This, along with the Echo, may be Alexa’s big chance. Reports indicate that Amazon is primarily working on smart home devices, making their smart glasses a bit of an outlier. We can also expect a home security system connected to Echo Show to launch before the year’s end.

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