The first augmented-reality glasses with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant will be shown next week at CES in Las Vegas – manufactured by a 75-employee company rather than the e-commerce giant’s growing devices division.
Vuzix Corp. will show off a pair of smart glasses that can talk to Amazon’s voice-activated digital assistant and display information to the wearer’s field of view, Vuzix Chief Executive Officer Paul Travers said in an interview.
Vuzix’s Alexa integration is part of an Amazon program that allows third-party hardware manufacturers to put the digital assistant into their products. In October, Sonos Inc. unveiled a smart speaker with Alexa’s system for controlling music playback. The strategy is designed to put Amazon’s service, which generates revenue for the company, in as many places as possible to sell more products, Bloomberg reported.
The $1,000 glasses are aimed at a “prosumer” market, such as golfers or business customers, the company said, but will eventually come down in price and incorporate new features.
Voice assistants are key on smaller devices, such as glasses, where swiping is impractical. And Amazon has found a way to tap that market though small companies like Vuzix, which has a market capitalization of just about $186 million.
Depending on their quality, availability, and price, these AR products could haunt Apple, which has planned its own smart speaker and is reportedly working on augmented reality glasses, CNBC reported. But with Siri’s HomePod debut delayed, Alexa seems to be stepping into the augmented reality market.
Trade show with no women speakers and no code of conduct!
Vuzix’s is one of many augmented-reality products expected out of CES, an annual trade show organized by the Consumer Technology Association.
CES, the showcase for the latest consumer electronics from televisions to self-driving cars, is known for mostly male attendees and female models known as ‘booth babes’ showing off the new technology, The Economic Times reported.
It has attracted criticism for not making itself more welcoming for women or toning down its sexualized atmosphere even as the issue of harassment and assault has grabbed headlines in the last six months and propelled the #MeToo movement into life.
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