Amazon revealed two off-the-wall Alexa devices: eyeglass frames and a ring. The Echo Frames start at $179 and support regular or prescription lenses. Naturally, they support Alexa as well — while they don't have a display or a camera, they do have an Alexa-enabled speaker and microphone. Alexa's answers will come through a speaker that's pointed towards you, so privacy is better than you'd expect but certainly not absolute. Amazon designed the frames so you can disable the microphone at any time, and you can choose only select "VIP" alerts to come through the speakers when you don't want to be bothered by all of your smart alerts.
The $129 Echo Loop is an oddly shaped ring that has a similar purpose as the Echo Frames, making it easier to access Alexa wherever you are. The titanium piece of jewellery's one button activates Alexa. The haptic engine in the ring vibrates to let you know you've actually pressed the button, and Alexa will deliver answers via the ring's tiny speaker.
So it looks like Amazon has tried to be sensitive around privacy issues but with Frames many would have been expecting displays etc. Frames really acts like just another speaker option but is more discreet in terms of it not broadcasting the speech out to everyone else, and this could also be used for other alerts from your phone.
The Loop is quite interesting as its really compact but will allow one pre-programmed phone call to be made by double-tappings its action button and you listen and speak through the ring (moving it between your mouth and ear). Could be nifty for dialling a number in an emergency.
I understand both devices could also contact Google Assistant or Siri which is quite nice and prevents total lock-in. Both are tethered via Bluetooth though to your phone so they will not work all on their own. I could see the Loop becoming quite popular depending on price and design options.
#amazon Amazon unleashes a bunch of new Echo devices, including glasses and a ring
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