With these portable devices, Amazon's digital Alexa Assistant is brought to your body in a way different from the expected(though it's for $ 130) £ 120). By Amazon may try to become more personal with the small voice in the device.
The echo frames and echo loop raise a lot of questions: what do they do, who are they for, what customization options are available and how can they be bought? Add it to your cart on Amazon. We know the following and what we do not know.
Why did Amazon create the echo loop and echo frames?
Wearables are a potentially huge technology sector, but so far only smartwatches and fitness trackers have really taken hold. Some companies, especially Google and even Amazon itself, have already launched smart eyewear (see), but they were hardly mainstream.
With $ 180 and $ 130, Alexa's Echo Frames and Echo Loop and its extensive collection of capabilities can be taken anywhere at a relatively low price. If successful, the new devices could help expand Amazon's influence outside of their own homes, something that Google has been able to do on phones with Google Assistant, but what Amazon has not yet achieved.
This is what the echo frames do.
The Echo frames are connected glasses that allow you to speak commands and hear Alexas answers freehand. You can also use it to listen to audio streams. Let's say you walk down the street with your hands full and ask Alexa to turn on the air conditioner at home or play a podcast.
At 31 grams, echo frames are no heavier than regular eyewear, though the temples look wider than average.
You can control some functions by swiping the earpiece. Microphones that can be turned off by tapping an action button on the temple twice are waiting for commands. Then you – and only you – hear about Alexa's answer via four beam-forming micro-speakers aimed at your ears.
The Echo Images Currently only compatible with Android phones
Amazon also promotes echo frames as an accessory for your Android phone so you can hear alerts and interact with your assistant via your glasses. The echo frames have a VIP filter setting that lets you choose which types of notifications you want to forward, so you do not have to thunder, growl or chirp the last time.
Currently, iOS does not support Echo Frames, and Amazon is not sure if they will work with iPhones ($ 699 on Amazon) in the future.
You Can Use Prescription Products Lenses in the Echo Frame
During the presentation, Dave Limp, senior vice president of equipment and services at Amazon, noted that his demonstration pair was equipped with its prescription lenses.
According to Amazon, your optometrist can adjust lenses to fit your echo goggles and adjust their fit like any other pair of goggles. Amazon even has a printable map with information to help your eye doctor.
If you have vision insurance that is not covered by the network, you may be eligible for a reimbursement. For more information about refunds, visit the Amazon Web site.
The echo frames have no head-up display.
Unlike Google Glass, the echo frames do not function as a personal HUD. That is, they do not project information such as turn-by-turn navigation or AR interlays on the world around you on the lenses in front of you. They're just to mate with your phone and talk to Alexa.
What is the Echo Loop about?
The Echo loop is the first Alexa-enabled smart ring. It has an action button that allows you to activate the device with a mouse click, two microphones to listen to your commands, and a near-microscopic speaker for answers. The ring also has a vibrating haptic engine for notifications. There is no ad, but you can monitor notifications and more through an accompanying smartphone app.
The Echo Loop connects to your phone's Alexa app via Bluetooth and uses your existing data plan. Unlike frames, Loop is compatible with both Android phones and iPhones. You can either call Google Assistant or Siri by long pressing the action button on the loop.
The Echo Loop is Waterproof
Amazon says it is waterproof, and you can wash your hands safely while the loop is turned on. "Showers and swimming are not recommended."
Calls can be made with the echo frames and the loop.
With the frames and the loop, you can call everyone in your contacts. With the loop, you can program one (and only one) speed dial number. You call up by double clicking on the action button.
When calling on the loop, you need to move your ring-shaped finger awkwardly between your ear and mouth to listen and speak. For that reason, Amazon probably says that they are only suitable for "short" calls.
The echo frames and the loop have no cameras.
Neither the echo frames nor the echo loop have a camera somewhere, so you do not have to worry about people taking pictures or videos.
You need the Amazon chargers to turn on the frames and the loop.
The frames are fully charged in approximately 75 minutes via a proprietary USB four-pin connector. According to Amazon, "temporary use" frames should be "fully charged" throughout the day, which Amazon defines as 40 Alexa interactions, 45 minutes of audio playback, 20 minutes of phone calls and 90 notifications over a 14 hour period at 60% volume If you enjoy listening to music, Amazon expects a continuous audio output of about three hours at a volume of 60%.
According to Amazon, charging the Echo Loop on its associated charge level takes 90 minutes, and a full charge should take a full day It should be noted that the actual battery life differs depending on the user.
How the devices are listening to you
You call Alexa at the touch of a button on the echo loop, so you only hear it when you instruct it.
Echo frames work similarly to other devices from Amazon Echo ($ 70 on Amazon) where Alexa always waits for the wake-up word (usually "Alexa", but can also be set to "Computer") http://www.cnet.com / "Echo" or "Amazon"). Once triggered, frames start recording your voice and send that audio to Amazon servers, where they are processed into a command that is sent back to frames.
Knowing When Frames or Loops Record You
When Alexa is triggered in Echo Frames, you hear a beep and see a small blue status light in the frames indicating that Alexa is listening.
Alexa on Echo Loop is triggered by pressing a button. Beyond that point, there is no external indication that Alexa is listening.
What we know about Amazon: Keep copies of these records
Just like other Amazon Echo devices, Amazon stores all your interactions with Alexa, including audio recordings. According to Amazon, "a very small portion of the voice recordings are manually reviewed," which means that people sometimes listen to them for product development purposes.
In times of increasingAmazon has attempted to stay one step ahead of customer concerns by creating a portal for Alexa users that controls how their personal information is collected, stored and used. There you can specify that Amazon does not collect or verify your data at all, or that records be automatically deleted after three or 18 months.
You must request an invitation to purchase the Echo Frames and Loop.
Amazon has not provided all the details, such as shipping dates or vacation availability, but we know you need an invitation that you can request here for the echo frames and here the echo loop. (So the company also manages the launch of its Amazon Echo car device for cars.)
Once you receive your email invitation, you will receive a code that is valid for 30 days and that you need to complete your order with Amazon. We also know that the Echo Frames and Echo Loop are sold in limited quantities.
Find out if they fit.
Currently the Echo Frames are only available in one color: Black with turtle temple tips – and a size: 54 times 18 times 145 mm. Amazon's Echo Frames product page has a small pop-up window that lets customers see if frames fit their face.
The Echo Loop is available in one version only: Titanium (black) and in four sizes: Small, Medium and Large and Extra Large. These sizes correspond to 9, 10, 11 and 12 ring sizes. Even though you know your ring size, Amazon recommends ordering a free "fit kit" to ensure the right fit after you've been asked to buy the loop. Amazon keeps your place in line while providing you with a set of four dummy rings to try on.
You should expect more devices like this.
One reason for the invitation system is that the wearables fall into a new class of products that Amazon calls Day 1 Editions. These are finished products but with limited availability. These will not be available everywhere in the trade. Amazon emphasized, however, that it is not about beta versions, but fully developed, ready-to-use gadgets.
Find out about other Amazon announcements, including a new 8-inch Echo Show Smart Displays aand the developed in cooperation with Bose. It has also updated a and a presented. , See the and all .
CNET may receive a commission from retailers.