In what quickly became a tsunami of hardware announcements at its 25 September event, Amazon has surprised everyone with the Echo Loop - an Alexa-powered smart ring wearable.
Hands on: Amazon Echo Loop review
Packed inside of that ring is an ARM processor, 4GB of Flash memory, a haptic sensor with two microphones and a speaker to bring Alexa to your finger.
Using the internet connection or Wi-Fi from your compatible Android phone or iPhone, you can press the solitary physical action button to activate the speaker and mics. Then you can raise the ring towards your mouth to quiz Alexa about things like your calendar appointments or items that are on your shopping list. You can listen in on the response through the onboard speaker.
That physical action button can also be double clicked to speed dial your favorite contacts, though it's not clear if you can take calls from the ring as well.
Battery life for the Loop is a day based on intermittent use according to Amazon. That means using a mix of Alexa interactions, quick phone calls, and the haptic vibrations that let you know Alexa is listening. When your ring is flat, it'll take 90 minutes to get back up to a full charge.
The big catch is that the Echo Loop will only be available by special invitation as, by the sounds of things, quantities will be limited. The Echo Loop will cost $129.99 as part of an introductory price. It will usually retail for $179.99.
The Loop also joins the Echo Frame in forming Amazon's Day1 Edition products. Like the Loop, the Frame smart glasses will only be available by invitation.
Essential reading: The best smart rings
Amazon says the Day1 Edition range will put products that aren't quite ready for wider consumption into the hands of early testers, which sounds to us a bit like beta testing. We won't know for sure until we have both in our hands.
The Echo Frame smartglasses and Loop smart ring were also joined by Echo Buds, Amazon's first hearable that brings Alexa to the ears. Clearly Amazon is ready to go all in on wearables.
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