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Amazon Echo Frames are smartglasses that bring Alexa to your face

The voice assistant is being packed into a pair of normal-looking glasses
Amazon unveils Echo Frames smartglasses
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In its quest to put Alexa into seemingly every smart device under the sun, Amazon has announced a pair of smartglasses with the voice assistant living inside.

The Echo Frames work through four directional speakers built into each temple of the normal-looking glasses, letting you talk to Alexa without the people around you hearing the responses.

Hands on: Amazon Echo Frames review

When paired with an Android smartphone (there's no iOS support at launch), the speakers and mics combo built into the Frames will be able to perform functions like reading out notifications, playing music, making phone calls and turning smart lights on and off.

Amazon is also including what it calls a "VIP Filter", which lets you customize the notifications from the contacts and the apps you care about most.

The Frames will also offer support for Google Assistant letting you double up on smart assistants to expands its uses letting you get directions and even schedule appointments.

Amazon Echo Frames are smartglasses that bring Alexa to your face

Unlike Snap's Spectacles, there's no built-in cameras here, or a display fashioned into the lenses like the North Focal. It's clearly all about the audio and keeping your interactions with Amazon's assistant relatively discreet.

Amazon says you can visit most eyewear professionals to get a set of prescription lenses so the Frames can replace your existing pair of specs.

The glasses themselves are made from carbon fibre and titanium, which should make them a lightweight pair of glasses to wear. They're also rated IPX4 for fending off sweat and water and splash-resistant.

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However, if you don't mind drawing a bit more attention to yourself, Amazon also indicates that the Frames will be able to handle gesture controls from the touchpad, for responding to messages and other notifications.

There's also a physical volume and action button and an LED status button that can indicate when the microphones are turned on. Yes, you can choose to turn those mics off when you don't want them listening into your conversations.

Amazon event: Echo Buds let you access Alexa and Google Assistant

When it comes to battery life, Amazon has a very interesting way of explaining how long you'll be able to use these off a single charge. It says you can get a day of intermittent use with volume at 60%. That intermittent use includes 40 Alexa interactions, 45 minutes of music, 20 minutes of phone calls and 90 incoming notifications over a 14 hour period.

It adds that a full charge will last up to 3 hours of continuous audio playback at 60% volume and that they'll take 75 minutes to fully charge. Powering up is done via a proprietary cable, so there's no fancy charging case here.

The Frames will be priced at $179.99, however, so they don't come cheap. But this is also an introductory price. After which they'll retail for $249.99.

Amazon: Echo Frames
Amazon: Echo Frames

Like the Echo Loop smart ring, which Amazon also unveiled at its hardware event in Seattle, the Alexa specs are part of the company's Day1 Edition products.

That means they'll only be available, at least initially, through invitation.

While these might be Amazon's first foray into the world of smartglasses, it's not the first company to bring similar features to a pair of normal-looking specs.

Bose unveiled its Frame audio AR sunglasses back in 2018, while Huawei unveiled its Eyewear specs in March, which also let you take calls, access smart assistants and listen to your audio from your face.

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  • KryptonKnight·

    You guys really don't realise what you just said with that headline?Really?