Amazon have made a name for themselves as innovators. They are best known for dominating the online shopping industry and their creation of the Amazon Echo. But how will they fair when it comes to developing smart glasses?
Amazon is the latest brand to try to build their own digital glasses. These smart glasses would pair with your smart phone wirelessly, working seamlessly with the Amazon Echo. These new smart glasses would add an extra level of engagement with Alexa, their voice assistant. According to Morgan Stanley, Amazon has sold over 11 million Amazon Echo devices – over 300,000 in the UK. According to reports, the glasses will use a bone-conduction audio system to transmit sounds into the wearer’s head by vibrating their skull, rather than through headphones.
Yeah, it’s a bit weird. After all who is interested in listening to Alexa through skull vibrations, but apparently Beethoven was a fan. But, overall the idea of a more mobile Alexa is appealing.
Why is this a good thing?
At the moment Amazon Echo is only used at home or the office while plugged in. A smart glasses option would allow users to connect from anywhere in the world and sync to their Amazon Echo device at home. As it’s still early into development we don’t know the full extent of features that could be developed for the smart glasses, but we can expect they will make life easier for Amazon users.
Other brands have flirted with smart glass in the past and not seen positive results. Google Glass was set to take over the industry, but ended up hardly making a dent (Google has been keeping tight lipped on sales numbers, but you can check out the estimated numbers). The design being sighted as a big turn off to buyers interested in using the technology. Amazon will have to address the concerns with developing something fashionable and functional. Snapchat developed their Snap Spectacles, a pair of smart glasses that are reasonably priced at £129.99 (compared to competitors), simple and stylish. The smart glasses are able to record 10 seconds of video at a time, sharing to Snapchat and other linked social media accounts.
What does this mean for marketing?
Amazon are trying to corner the market, becoming a necessity in everyday life. According to Amazon, “Third-party developers released more than 4,000 new Alexa Skills since October, including ADT, AT&T, CBS, Pizza Hut, and The Wall Street Journal. Tens of thousands of developers are building skills for Alexa”. You begin to wonder if smart glasses could ever be used for advertisements directly into customer’s vision or through skull vibrations. With the addition of wearable accessories this brings a new level of marketing possibilities into the market. As this is still a fairly new approach there is still a lot of room for development and growth.