Skip to main content

Amazon might release Alexa-powered glasses and an Echo Protect camera this year

Leave it to Amazon, one of the world’s largest retailers, to seek to disrupt augmented reality and home security. The Seattle, Washington-based retailer is actively developing Alexa-enabled “smart glasses,” according to an exclusive report in the Financial Times, alongside a “smart” security camera.

Amazon’s smart glasses, which are said to resemble an off-the-shelf pair of spectacles, pack a microphone, a wireless chip of some kind, and an earbuds-free bone-conduction system that pipes Alexa’s voice straight to your inner ear. It’s reportedly being spearheaded by Babak Parviz, the founder of Google Glass, who joined Amazon in 2014, and could launch as soon as “year-end.”

Related Videos

It’s not the only skunkworks project at Lab 126, Amazon’s secretive hardware research division. Engineers are reportedly developing a home security camera that would tie into Amazon’s growing Echo lineup — the Echo Dot and Echo Tap speakers, the screen-touting Echo Show, and the fashion-focused Echo Look camera. The Echo Protect would show a live video feed on the Echo Show’s screen, for example, and alert you when an Amazon package arrived at your doorstep.


Amazon isn’t the first tech giant to try its hands at AR eyewear. Google Glass, a heads-up eyepiece with bone-conduction audio and Bluetooth connectivity, quickly became the subject of controversy. Privacy advocates claimed that its built-in camera let wearers surreptitiously record the people around them, and Glass was banned from shops, bars, and restaurants before Google pulled the plug on public sales in 2014.

Others have had more success. Snapchat’s Spectacles, a colorful pair of camera-equipped shades that record ten-second videos to Snapchat, quickly sold out at pop-up vending machines across the country.

And companies like Microsoft, Facebook, and Magic Leap continue to refine their own AR solutions. As recently as August, Apple was said to be working on Project Mirrorshades, a pair of Google Glass-like AR glasses with motion sensors, transparent displays, and integrated touch panels.

But despite the challenges, Amazon sees the move into AR and home security as natural extensions of its existing ecosystem. Company executives see the Echo family, which has sold in the “tens of millions of units,” as a key way to “listen and respond” to customers needs, according to the Financial Times.

It remains to be seen if the retailer can carve out niches in these challenging markets, though. AR glasses and heads-up displays have yet to take off in the way that the Echo has, and formidable competitors like Alphabet-owned Nest, Ring, August, Netgear, and Lighthouse already offer “smart” home security cameras.

Editors' Recommendations

Our honest thoughts on the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 200MP camera
The back of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, showing the camera lenses.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has a whopping 200-megapixel camera on the back, and it's one of the major differentiators between it and the otherwise fairly similar Galaxy S22 Ultra. But in normal, everyday use, the camera defaults to taking 12MP photographs. Due to its clever pixel-binning technology, this ensures you get great photos that quickly exploit the massive sensor’s true ability, before wrapping the results up in a sensibly sized file.

However, you can activate a 200MP photo mode and take pictures at full resolution. The temptation is always to think that the more megapixels, the better — but is that the case for the Galaxy S23 Ultra? I’ve been out to see if you should be experimenting with the 200MP camera, or if it's a gimmick best left alone. If you've not seen what the Galaxy S23 Ultra's camera can do in 12MP mode, take a look at how it performed in our Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. Pixel 7 Pro camera test and S23 Ultra vs. iPhone 14 Pro camera comparison first.
Think before you use 200MP mode

Read more
Samsung may have just killed the Galaxy S10
Galaxy S10 Plus.

The Samsung Galaxy S10 was an excellent addition to Samsung's hardware lineup in 2019, but it seems like it's finally being sunset by the company after one final update.

According to Droid Life, this week saw what's likely to be the Galaxy S10's final security update before its official support ends. While it's not confirmed that S10 owners won't see another update if something major needs to be patched, it seems like this might be it for the smartphone line in terms of regularly scheduled updates.

Read more
9 Apple products we’re expecting in 2023: iPhone 15, M2 Mac Pro, and more
An iPhone 14 sitting on a wood desk.

Apple is one of the most secretive companies in the world of big tech. Rumors of future products seem to develop years ahead of their time, and while we can all speculate as much as we want, we don’t really know what new products Apple has coming until they're announced. For existing products, though, it’s a little easier since most of those tend to be on an annual upgrade cycle, with a few exceptions.

But the rumor mill for new products, like Apple’s mixed reality headset, has been reaching peak levels of hype recently, which leads us to believe its release is imminent. We could also have the first iPhone with USB-C charging, eliminating the need for proprietary Lightning cables, and even a 15-inch MacBook Air.

Read more