Amazon has introduced a new generation of the Echo Frames. What are the improvements?
The first Echo Frames appeared in 2019 as a test product, and a second generation of the audio glasses officially went on sale in 2020. Three years later, Amazon now presents the third generation of Echo Frames.
As before, the wearable has a built-in microphone and speakers and supports Alexa via smartphone pairing. Cameras, as in Meta’s Ray-Ban Stories, are not integrated. Both devices lack a display.
The new Echo Frames come with seven new frames (including two designs from eyewear maker Carrera) combined with a choice of lenses (UV, blue light, prescription lenses). Volume, sound quality, and speech recognition have been improved, as has battery life, which now offers up to six hours of continuous media playback. Despite these technical improvements, the temples are 15 percent slimmer than the previous generation of the wearable.
The starting price is $270 for the standard frames and $390 for the Carrera models. Amazon did not say when the audio glasses will go on sale.
Ray-Ban Stories 2 are on its way, too
Meta is also expected to unveil new smartglasses soon: a new generation of the Ray-Ban Stories, which could bring a number of improvements as well as new features. The wearable recently received FCC approval, suggesting a launch is imminent.
The audio and camera glasses were released in September 2021 and have sold more than 300,000 units, according to a Wall Street Journal report. However, less than ten percent of people are said to use the glasses regularly.
The technology is relatively new and unproven. Amazon and Meta prioritize the aesthetic factor in their respective products: the glasses must be lightweight and fashionable, so the technology takes a back seat. This, in turn, results in limited technical utility. This may change as displays find their way into wearables in the next few years.