Skip to main content

Amazon’s new Echo Frames smartglasses have Alexa, but that’s about it

Amazon announced Echo Frames, an Alexa-enabled pair of glasses, during Wednesday’s Amazon Devices Event. 

Amazon’s Echo Frames look like normal glasses and can be tailored to your individual prescription, but unlike other smart frames on the market, they don’t have a camera or display within the frames —  just Alexa capabilities. 

Alexa responds to your commands through built-in direction speakers, so no one but you can hear the responses. 

The Echo Frames are one of Amazon’s “Day One edition” products that will have limited availability before being released to the general public. Other Day One edition products announced on Wednesday include Echo Buds and an Echo Loop ring. The Echo Frames will be priced at $179.99 during the invite-only period in order to get feedback from select customers before becoming available to all Amazon customers. It’s not clear if the price would change later on after the limited availability. 

Amazon Echo Frames Smart Glasses

Echo Frames would be Amazon’s first branded venture into the smartglasses market, though Amazon Alexa is already a part of tech company North’s smart Focals. North’s Focals offer a number of features, like turn-by-turn directions, weather information, Spotify control, audio recording, and more. Like a smartwatch, it serves as an extension of your phone, showing you notifications and the ability to access Alexa and respond to text messages.

More and more tech companies are trying to perfect smartglasses for consumers. Of course, there are Snapchat’s Spectacles which can capture your world in a 3D view or take still images. Facebook is also reportedly looking into entering the smartglasses market with a new product it hopes will permanently replace smartphones. The glasses, known internally as Orion, would be able to take phone calls, show information via a small display in the frames, and allow people to livestream what they see to social media followers.

Other companies haven’t been as successful in the glasses market: in 2013, Google’s Google Glass failed quickly due to the lack of proper software and the glasses’ awkward appearance. Glass has since been revived for the corporate user as the Google Glass Enterprise Edition 2, which has a $999 price tag.

Editors' Recommendations

Allison Matyus
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Allison Matyus is a general news reporter at Digital Trends. She covers any and all tech news, including issues around social…
Amazon kills Echo Loop, improves Echo Frames
amazon kills echo loop improves frames

When Amazon first announced the Echo Loop in 2019, it raised a lot of eyebrows -- and a lot of hands were raised to be the first ones to try out the device. The smart ring promised to be a way to subtly receive notifications from your phone, activate and control Alexa, and more.

On Thursday, November 19, Amazon announced that the Echo Loop will no longer be supported. The good news, however, is that the company is doubling down on the Echo Frames, a set of smart glasses with built-in Alexa functionality. These frames are designed to operate just like a normal set of glasses, but with smart features implemented in a seamless way.

Read more
Amazon slashes prices of Echo and Fire TV devices for Prime Day
Prime Day Amazon Echo Deals

Prime Day is here. Okay, not quite. We still have a few hours to go until the event itself kicks off, but that hasn't stopped Amazon from discounting everything from Echo Dots and Fire TVs to Fire tablets to their lowest-ever prices. I guess when you run the show you can do as you please. Anyhow, the retailer has confirmed that Amazon device sales are in fact Prime Day deals -- as indicated by the small badge on the product pages -- and has reassured us that the pricing will remain the same through the end of the shopping bonanza on October 14.

The best single best deal? The retailer has the Amazon Echo Dot for just $19. This is the cheapest it has ever offered the puck-sized smart speaker, down $3 from the $22 we saw on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Of course, that's not the only offer to write home about. It's also offering the souped-up Amazon Echo Studio for $150, down $50 from the usual $200, and has the top-rated Fire HD 10 tablet for just $80. That's $70 under sticker. Oh, and did we mention the Fire TV Recast (500GB) is on sale for just $130. Wait for it... That's a savings of $100. Wowzers.

Read more
Alexa Care Hub helps families to keep track of loved ones’ interactions
Alexa Care Hub

During Amazon's fall event, the company announced a new, useful feature: Alexa Care Hub. Alexa makes it possible to stay connected with loved ones even from afar thanks to calling, drop-in, and much more, but until now there wasn't a dedicated way to keep an eye on them.


Read more