In 2014, Google Glass founder and former head Babak Parviz left the X division to join Amazon as it began ramping up on hardware. The online retailer is now reportedly set to launch smart glasses that feature its Alexa assistant and a home security camera system as soon as this year.
According to the Financial Times, the smart glasses look like regular spectacles designed to be “worn comfortably and unobtrusively.” Like on Google Glass, bone conduction technology is leveraged to leave ears unobstructed, while the device will still need to be paired with a smartphone.
The report only makes mention to voice and audio as an interaction method between the user and the glasses. It’s unclear whether there will be a display for viewing content or a camera for augmented reality use cases. It’s also unclear whether the glasses will always be listening for a hotword to activate.
Babak Parviz is cited by the report as being “closely involved” in the project, along with several ex-Glass “researchers, engineers, and designers” now working at Amazon’s hardware group.
Meanwhile, Amazon is also developing a home security camera that runs Alexa in an expansion to its smart home lineup. This is not the first device from Amazon with a camera given how the Echo Look uses an array for fashion-related use cases, while the Echo Show has a camera for video calling.
The home security camera system could possibly integrate with the Echo Show by showing the video feed on the latter device’s display. As part of expanding its smart home lineup, Amazon’s Lab 126 hardware division has been tasked with looking into gadgets that the company could develop. It comes as Alphabet’s Nest announced a suite of new home security gadgets today.
FT notes that either of these products could be launched before the end of the year, along with updates to existing Echo devices.