This Amazon Event called “Ask Alexa” has surprised us by its wide variety of products. And, in addition to renewing its smart speakers and other devices for home automation, Amazon has presented gadgets as original as Fetch, the Echo Loop ring and Echo Frame glasses, these last two launched to the US market. We have had the opportunity to have in our hands, talk and see the world through the glasses of Amazon and these have been our impressions.
One design, color and size
Amazon has presented its Echo Frame in a single model, color and size, playing it in something as personal as glasses to see. Thus, these Echo Frame arrive in black and with a thick mount. Amazon staff has explained that during the development phase they were tested by teams of very different people until the design was refined.
Despite the size of their pins – where the controls, microphones and speakers are located – they are surprisingly light (31 grams) and very comfortable. They are made of acetate, a hard and resistant plastic, although the area that is in contact with the ears is a soft and very flexible material to fit precisely and comfortably to our auditory pavilions.
Although these glasses that we have tried come with glasses without graduation, it is possible to mount lenses that fit our vision problems.
A personalized voice and touch control
Although the first thing that crossed our mind was the possibilities of displaying information such as an address or an email, in the Echo Frame there are no screens or cameras, so the user experience focuses on the interaction with Alexa through a pair of microphones and four directional speakers, in addition to its connectivity with Android smartphones.
The Echo Frame stand out for three characteristics of use: the first is Alexa as an assistant to accompany us in our day to day, the second is Amazon open ear technology, a system to capture our voice in an environment with noise and filter it, so that Alexa can capture the order launched by us. The third is its customization for selective use.
What can we do with them in practice? For example, ask you to play music or receive only “important” notifications, or what is the same, of the applications and people we select. And is that some glasses are made to wear all day, so receiving notices of all emails or WhatsApp would keep us permanently attentive to notifications and clueless for everything else. In our test, we experimented with Nest’s door opening detector, receiving a warning when the door on which it is installed opened.
Another of our tests has been music reproduction. With the command “Alexa, play some music”, we have begun to listen to music without the people on our side noticing. Although we can order you to stop playback or to change the volume in a room full of people with good results, another option is to make use of its quick and intuitive controls: a tap on the right leg for the first or the press on the button that It is located at the bottom of the right leg for the latter.
A limited autonomy by design
In a few minutes with the Echo Frame on, we have not been able to assess what its autonomy looks like, although Amazon specifies that with a volume of 60%, its autonomy is 14 hours of mixed use, that is, throwing questions and playing music.
The autonomy provided by Amazon leads us to have to charge them every day, the price to pay for such a small and light device.