11 October 2019
Amazon at its September 2019 hardware event announced so many Echo devices, including the new 3rd-gen Echo smart speaker, and its first-ever Echo wearable which is Echo Buds. Together with these commercial products which are available for pre-order straight away, Amazon has also launched some limited-edition products that it will only be made available in quantities if it finds customers are loving it.
Calling them the Day 1 Editions, Amazon introduced Echo Loop and Echo Frames. Alexa is the soul of Amazon’s Echo products and so this is also present in the Frames and Loop, which are basically glasses and ring.
The Echo Frames are Alexa-enabled glasses that look more like regular glasses. They aren’t sci-fi glasses with no camera, display, AR, VR, or whatsoever on them to get any information displayed on them. These are all just the glasses with a decent frame and they give you all-day access to Alexa on-the-go while keeping your hands, ears, and eyes-free to engage. With Frames, Amazon is making Alexa more and more present.
Call them the Smart eyeglasses which will assist you on the go just like some regular or existing Alexa-enabled devices at your home. The idea of giving you access to Alexa all the time via frames doesn’t look too promising, especially when the Echo Buds can serve the same purpose at a lower price.
Interestingly, users will also be able to access Google Assistant in addition to Alexa by simply long pressing on the temple of the frames.
The second product coming in limited volume is the Echo Loop which is basically a ring that you can wear in your finger. It has a two-microphone, smaller speaker and a haptic engine on the smallest form factor.
The haptic engine vibrates when you receive notifications or an incoming call. It also vibrates when a button is pressed and Alexa is streaming your request to the cloud. The ring lets you access information when paired with your phone. You just need to press a button to talk to Alexa and the answer will come from the small speaker built into the ring. With the Loop, Amazon wants to enable the maximum of information at your fingertips.
Echo Frames and Echo Loop will be available in limited volumes by invite only. Echo Frames will be available for a special price of $179.99 and Echo Loop will cost $99.99. Both the products are tagged at these prices during the invite period only and Amazon says its invite price reflects its desire to get the feedback from customers. This means the prices may increase once the company finds it needs to build more glasses and rings. Both will begin shipping later this year.