Amazon wants to push Alexa-powered devices into as many areas of our lives as possible. That's why we have multiple Echo-branded devices to suit different areas of the home, why Alexa is on smartphones, is being integrated into wireless earphones, and why there's an Alexa Voice Service Device SDK for easy integration with other commercial products.
But Amazon wants Alexa to be available everywhere, at all times, and without the need to even take a device out of a pocket to use it. To achieve that, Amazon is apparently working on perfecting Alexa smart glasses.
According to the Financial Times and The Verge, Amazon is hard at work on a pair of glasses. You may remember Google Glass founder Babak Parviz joined Amazon in 2014. He is apparently working on the project, but this is no Google Glass clone.
Forget about a built-in display or a camera, Alexa smart glasses will be extremely simple. They are thought to be as close to a standard pair of glasses as you can get while still integrating Alexa functionality and the necessary power for the voice assistant to function. A lack of camera or display not only cuts costs, but bypasses any privacy concerns.
Hearing what Alexa says is expected to be done through bone conduction, meaning people will be seen talking to themselves in the street and receiving responses no one else can hear. I think we're all used to seeing that already thanks to hands-free gadgets.
If the Financial Times report is correct, we could see the Alexa smart glasses launched this year. With Amazon always keen to keep costs to a minimum to encourage uptake, I imagine the glasses will require a link to either your Wi-Fi at home or Bluetooth on your phone to function. If that's the case, Amazon could hit a price point similar to its Echo devices.