Wearable technology is still an exciting market. Especially as it continues to evolve and improve. I think some of the ideas are pretty great, like smartwatches that help all those Dick Tracy fans out there live their childhood (and adult) dreams. Plus, companies keep finding new ways to branch out, coming up with new ideas like a smart jean jacket!
And then there are devices like the Amazon Echo Loop.
It’s been over a month since Amazon announced its first pair of truly wireless headphones, the Echo Buds. It’s also been over a month since the company unveiled other pieces of wearable technology like its first pair of “smart glasses” called Echo Frames.
The Echo Frames are designed to give you easy access to Alexa, Amazon’s digital assistant, letting owners control smart home products, set reminders, play music, and more. It’s not as advanced as, say, an Apple Watch or something like that, but it should get the job done for those specific instances.
They are prescription-ready, too, which is a nice touch. The only potential drawback is that these are just for talking at Alexa, so there isn’t any type of augmented reality (AR) experience here.
At that same event Amazon announced another piece of wearable technology, the Echo Loop. Again, this is meant to give you quick-and-easy access to Alexa, and trims down the features even more. You need to press a button on the ring to activate Alexa, which will then let you talk on the phone, and hear Alexa talk via a small speaker on the ring’s side.
It will also vibrate when you have an incoming call or other notifications.
The Echo Frames and Echo Loop cost $179.99 and $129.99, respectively, so they aren’t exactly cheap. And they aren’t meant for the general public yet, either, with Amazon locking access behind an invite-only system. But it shows that the company is ready and willing to put Alexa on just about anything, for better or worse.
Part of me wants to say both of these things are ridiculous (more so the ring than anything else), but I can’t go that far. I think smart glasses are going to have a heyday in the near future, especially when Apple jumps into the fray with its own AR-based idea (if the rumors actually pan out, of course). And not every pair of smart glasses need to be like the others, so the fact that some don’t offer as many features as others will be a good thing. It all comes down to what the individual is looking for.
And even the Echo Loop can probably find a place, as long as Amazon keeps it as a niche product. I can’t say that I’m all that happy about a potential future where everyone is just talking to digital assistants basically on speaker phone, but I also wear headphones all the time so I probably won’t even notice if that future does come to pass.
But I’m curious what you think about wearable technology in general. Are you all-in with the idea and want to see even more adventurous ideas from companies? Do you have several devices that fall into the category already? Let me know!