March 7, 2021


Connecting People

Amazon Echo Frames Review (2nd Gen): An Echo Dot for Your Face

I want clever glasses to be a thing. I want these Tony Stark holographic-augmented-fact-AI-assistant-chatting-glasses to be a real thing I can wear on my deal with. So far, every single real pair of clever glasses has fallen woefully small of the mark. 

Amazon’s Echo Frames are the latest clever glasses to comply with in that storied tradition of overpromising and underdelivering. They are in essence an Echo Dot that you wear on your face—built entirely all-around interacting with Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa. They you should not have a screen in the lenses like the Focals by North or most other clever eyewear. Amazon is focusing entirely on chatting and listening.

Terrible Framing

I had higher hopes for the Echo Frames. You will find a way to make clever glasses do the job, and it appeared like Amazon was on the right observe.

To be truly worth any quantity of our time or revenue, clever glasses need to have to be practically indistinguishable from common glasses. Going for walks down the avenue, nobody need to be in a position to convey to you happen to be carrying clever glasses. They need to have in essence the exact silhouette as fashionable prescription frames. This is the to start with stage of failure for the Echo Frames. They really don’t glimpse fairly like regular glasses.

If you want to understand what it is really like to wear Echo Frames, go grab your self some fuel-station sun shades and tape two tubes of chapstick to each and every arm. Now wrap ’em in some thing inconspicuous, like electrical tape. They are not very cozy to wear for lengthy intervals since they are so bizarrely thick. Immediately after about an hour of carrying them, my ears had been feeling about as oppressed as an Amazon warehouse worker.

Photograph: Amazon

Inspite of their $225 price tag, they sense flimsy. The arms had been loose out of the box and probable would not fit a broad wide variety of faces. As opposed to most glasses in the last a person or two generations, they really don’t fold up, both. They charge with a magnetic connector and have a electric power button and microphone mute button. They appear to get roughly a whole day’s use if you you should not pay attention to tunes too a lot (a few to four hrs of straight tunes listening).

You may well sense a bit like Clark Kent if you you should not on a regular basis wear glasses. Amazon will not give a sun shades alternative for the Echo Frames, both. You can consider them to an optometrist to get prescription lenses place in them, but the most inexpensive frames at any optometrist’s business will be far more trendy. 

Sensible glasses also need to have to do some thing easy that I just cannot get from my cell phone, earbuds, smartwatch, or my genuine eyeballs. Or else, why would not I just use a person of these other experimented with-and-correct gizmos? If I want to converse to an AI assistant when I’m away from my cell phone, I could do it with equally priced Pixel Buds, Galaxy Buds, or AirPods Pro—and get killer headphones to boot (there are a lot of wonderful earbuds). More realistically, I’d just grab my cell phone and convey it with me.

Alexa, Play “Despacito”

The Echo Frames permit you converse to Alexa, which can be useful right here and there, but that is about it. It can do all the points Alexa does (furnished your cell phone is close by, considering the fact that it is really essential for almost everything), like go through your text messages to you—though there are privacy implications to take into account right before you permit Amazon go through your texts—and it can handle the quantity of your tunes. And sliding your finger along the arm of your glasses to flip your tunes up or down is a great touch. It’s performance I would want out of clever glasses that glimpse like glasses. But it’s the barest of minimums, and it is really at times too touchy.