The Financial Times reported on Tuesday that Amazon is working on building smart glasses and a home security camera that could link to the Amazon Echo. The FT says that one or both these products could be available for purchase before the end of the year.
The paper’s sources claimed to be familiar with the company’s plans, however, an Amazon spokesperson refused to weigh in on the rumors as per their company policy.
Back in 2014, Amazon hired Babak Parviz, creator Google Glass. It seemed inevitable that Amazon would take a crack at the wearable tech market, and Parviz is the right man to help lead the charge. The smart glasses will not have a screen, but do connect wirelessly to a smartphone to communicate with Alexa, and from there, interact with all the other Alexa enabled devices that are paired. The smart glasses would transmit sound through a bone conduction audio system, so there would be no need for earbuds.
One can’t think of smart glasses without conjuring images of the first iteration of Google Glass, which made people look like they were doing their best impression of a nerdy terminator. The Google Glass camera also brought up issues of privacy rights. The Financial Times reports that Amazon will not be putting a camera in their smart glasses, they will apparently look like an ordinary pair of glasses. If they are a success, could conceivably make a pair with an interactive screen down the line.
Financial Times suggest that Amazon could be building these glasses as a way to start their own augmented reality platform. They’re going to have plenty of competition on this front as there are many rumors surround Apple and how the new iPhones are leaning into AR technology with a possible headset on the way. Not to mention the Google owned, and secretive company Magic Leap, along with Microsoft and Facebook’s endeavors in augmented reality.