In brief: Amazon as part of its big hardware event on Wednesday announced a new Day 1 Edition program that involves a limited production run of products to gauge customer feedback. If users respond favorably to a particular product, Amazon may move forward with a broader launch.
The first of two Day 1 Edition devices is the Echo Frames, prescription-ready glasses that offer hands-free access to Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant. Wearers can ask Alexa to make a call, set reminders, add items to a to-do list, queue up music or even control a compatible smart home device.
Amazon said the Echo Frames are designed to look and feel like regular eyeglasses. They are constructed of lightweight and durable materials with four beamforming micro speakers that utilize Amazon’s open-ear audio tech to direct sound towards your ears.
Amazon’s Echo Frames will be available through invite-only for $179.99. Notably, they are only compatible with Android phones, so keep that in mind if you’re interested in ordering.
Amazon’s other Day 1 Edition product is the Echo Loop, an Alexa-enabled smart ring. It offers convenient access to Alexa simply by clicking the action button on the wearable. The ring can even be used for what Amazon calls “short phone calls” – simply hold the Echo Loop to your ear to hear your phone call or an Alexa response.
The wearable is equipped with two microphones, a piezo haptic that vibrates when you receive notifications or a phone call and the smallest speaker ever on an Echo device. Amazon says the device can last for a full day on a single charge and requires just 90 minutes for a total battery refill.
It’s also scratch-resistant and water-resistant and will be offered in a black titanium finish in your choice of small, medium, large or extra-large sizes.
Like the Echo Frames, it will be available via invite only and is priced at $129.99.