Tag Archives: Amazon Echo

Innovation or Not – Amazon Echo Frames

Amazon Echo Frames

Amazon announced yesterday that they were making their Amazon Echo Frames available to the general public. Amazon previously announced Echo Frames over a year ago. But, after extensive testing with a limited group of users over this past year, Amazon has decided that Echo Frames are ready for prime time and is making them available to anyone who wants a pair.

Amazon doesn’t green light every experiment that they invest in, as they simultaneously announced an unceremonious end to the Amazon Echo Loop Ring.

Amazon Echo Frames are very much what they sound like, a pair of $249.99 eyeglass frames that pair with your Android 9.0+ or iOS 13.6+ smartphone to allow you to give voice commands to that supercomputer you carry around in your pocket every day. Here is the demo video from last year:

You might be asking yourself – Why is Amazon making an iOS version?

It is kind of surprising given the rumors indicating that Apple will be launching their own Siri glasses at some point, but Amazon has decided to instead allow Echo Frames to tap into Google Assistant or Siri if people so choose.

It is important to note that Echo Frames are NOT smartglasses or even augmented reality glasses, but instead a Zero UI extension of your smartphone and an audio system for text messages and the occasional phone call, allowing you to cut down on your screen time and keep your smartphone tucked away more of the day.

It will be interesting to see whether these catch on or whether people opt for in ear solutions like Google Pixelbuds or Apple’s Airpods Pro. I guess only time will tell.

So, what do you think? Innovation or not?

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Is Jibo Joining Your Family?

Is Jibo Joining Your Family?

I wrote a couple of months ago about the Amazon Echo, the latest piece of hardware to emerge from the South Lake Union headquarters of one my city’s largest employers. A piece of hardware that follows in the wake of the successful Amazon Kindle and the failed Amazon Fire Phone.

The Amazon Echo aims to get you to put a computer in the center of your living room and to talk to it as if it were a person, building on the increasing comfort we have in talking to Siri, or Cortana, or Google. My previous article highlighted how this growing area of technology in phones, and increasingly in what is apparently a new wave of consumer devices, has the potential to disrupt the business model of Google and Bing, and potentially change our relationship with our devices.

Where Amazon Echo invites you to name their new computing device and speak to it, another rival technology (that was actually announced BEFORE the Amazon Echo) has recently come to my attention that is being positioned almost like a pet or a new member of the family. It’s called Jibo, and it was launched as an IndieGogo campaign and it quickly hit its $100,000 goal in four days, and raised $1 million in its first seven days. To date they’ve raised $2.3 million (pre-selling about 4,800 units) according to their myjibo.com web site, but as of yet they are still not shipping the device.

By comparison, according to Amazon’s web site, the Amazon Echo will be in stock on January 17, 2015.

Rather than trying to explain what the Jibo is, I’ve embedded their promotional video below (8 million views and counting):

So, what do you think, are you ready for Jibo (or the Amazon Echo) to become part of your family?

And you believe this new class of devices (and our increasing reliance on Siri and Cortana) have the potential to disrupt Google and Bing’s ability to make money?

Innovation or Not?

Sound off in the comments.

UPDATE to banner: You can now access a free recording of this webinar using PASSCODE 1515 here (link expired)

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