Soon, it'll be impossible to avoid Alexa. Amazon unveiled a slew of new Echo devices today, but it also launched an array of unexpected products that also feature the digital assistant, like a new microwave (ahem, smart oven) and earbuds. Most surprising perhaps, are the Echo Frames and Echo Loop -- glasses and a ring respectively. These are the first of Amazon's new "Day One" edition products, where the company puts out new devices in limited volume to get feedback and will double down to mass-produce them if people respond well.
The Echo Frames are Alexa-enabled glasses that look like typical black-framed spectacles. Amazon says they are prescription-ready and weigh 31 grams so they're lightweight and feel comfortable despite being technology-laden. The frames have built-in directional microphones for you to summon Alexa, and you can turn these off when you want privacy. The assistant's responses will be transmitted to your ears, though how that happens isn't clear yet. It's possible this system uses similar bone conduction technology to the Bose Frames.
Meanwhile, the Echo Loop is a titanium ring that activates when you hit a discreet button on the inside. It offers haptic vibrations to let you know when to talk into it and when to hold it up to your ear for Alexa's response. Amazon promised that these interactions will be discreet, although it's hard to imagine looking inconspicuous when you're holding up your finger to your mouth to talk. But Amazon says, "Simply press a button talk softly to Alexa and then the answer comes discretely (sic) through a small speaker built into the ring."
You'll need a special invite to buy these Day One products. The Frames will cost $179.99, while the Loop goes for $129.99.
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