Eyeglass wearers can interact with Alexa through Echo Frames

April 06, 2022

1 minute read

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NEW YORK – Amazon Echo created Echo Frames so eyeglass wearers could be connected to the world around them in a hands-free manner, company executives told Healio at Vision Expo East.

By instructing Alexa through the eyeglass microphone, wearers can make calls; listen to music, podcasts or audio books; hear the news; set reminders; update shopping lists; and control smart devices in the home.

“It’s an on-the-go Alexa product,” Echo Frames senior product manager Natalie Raps told Healio. “Open ear audio directs sounds to your ear while minimizing what people around you hear.”

The frames, which can be fitted with prescription lenses, are available in 13 styles and have a sweat- and water-resistant rating, she said.

“Many customers are smart home users,” Raps said. “[With Echo Frames,] you can ask Alexa to open the garage door when you’re approaching your house, lock or unlock doors, add items to your grocery list.”

Matt Alpert, OD told Healio that he was surprised at the comfort of the frames.

“People complain about their glasses all the time,” he said.

“It mounts and works just like any other frame,” Alpert said. “There are no limitations except those that would be inherent to a frame of this size.”

Alpert said wearers can enjoy the functionality of their smart phone without having to stare at it.

He said the product is in its “early days,” but patients are starting to ask about it.

“It could provide a new revenue stream for optometry,” he said. “Smart eye wear is a new trend. Why not have enhanced functionality of something you’re already wearing?”

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