Amazon introduced the second-gen version of its Echo Frames smart glasses, earlier this week, which are no longer in beta and available for anyone to purchase for $249. Echo Frames are designed to offer a hands-free Alexa experience via a pair of Bluetooth glasses, which can pull data from your smartphone. However, there’s no mini-digital display in the lenses, so don’t expect an augmented reality, overlay experience. Instead, the frames come with four microphones, which can automatically calibrate audio levels based on ambient noise.
“Now you can hear notifications and alerts, turn on compatible smart lights, or call a friend, all without pulling out your phone,” the company said.
They were introduced last year as a Day 1 Edition product and were only available via invitation. There is also support for calendars and group messaging on the second-generation Echo Frames. They are up for pre-order now and will begin shipping on December 10. Meanwhile, Echo Loop, a smart ring with Alexa support, is being discontinued.
The upgraded Echo Frames are priced at $249 and are up for sale in the US, although their international availability is not clear as of now. They are now available in three color options: Modern Tortoise, Horizon Blue, and Classic Black.
Amazon said that the battery life of the upgraded Echo Frames has improved; it is now up to 40 percent longer. As per the listing on Amazon, the Echo Frames deliver two hours of talk time and Alexa interactions, or non-stop media playback of four hours, on a full charge. A new feature also turns off the frames when they are placed upside down for three seconds, which will further help in increasing battery life.
The updated Echo Frames will offer richer, fuller sound through improved open-ear technology, according to Amazon. The volume can now be set to automatically adjust at the start of playback based on your selected listening profile and environment noise level.
With the Echo Frames, you can make calls, set reminders, listen to podcasts, add things to your to-do list, get the news, or control your smart home devices while leaving your ears uncovered. The Echo Frames direct sound to your ears while minimizing what others can hear. The frames also support access to Google Assistant and Siri from compatible devices. While the Echo Frames come with non-corrective lenses, they are compatible with most prescription lenses. Amazon has a guide to help with it.