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Amazon’s next Alexa product? Smartphone-connected glasses for a phone it doesn’t have

Amazon Alexa AR Glasses

Who would have thought that Amazon would have a chance of dominating the ecosystem of smart devices after the massive Fire Phone failure from a few years ago? The smartphone seems to be the logical platform to build on, but Amazon pretended the Fire Phone never existed and came out with a different way to launch its own voice-based operating system. Powered by Alexa, the Amazon Echo is the best sold smart speaker out there, a success that allowed Amazon to pack Alexa into a variety of devices, including smartphones made by its biggest rivals.

It sure looks like Amazon doesn’t even need a phone of its own to let users take Alexa on the road with them, and a new report says the company is already working on a device that might “kill” the smartphone.

Google tried its hand at making smart glasses a few years ago, but that project failed miserably. It was probably too ahead of its time, and Google lacked the technology that would turn Glass into a dependable smartphone-connected device that would “kill” the phone. I keep saying “kill” in quotes because these smart glasses would not actually make smartphone obsolete. They’d just completely change the way we interact with them.

Apple is also rumored/expected to make its own iPhone-connected augmented reality glasses.

Getting back to Amazon, it’s The Financial Times that reports Amazon is secretly working on such glasses.

The device would look like normal glasses — one other problem Google Glass had to deal with — and they’d connect wirelessly with smartphones.

The unnamed glasses, which will likely be sold under the Echo product family, will deliver sound via bone conducting technology. It’s unclear what kind of AR features the glasses will have to offer, but we’d assume AR is included. There’s no “smart” in glasses if you don’t add AR to them.

This could make Alexa even more attractive for users who already rely on the assistant at home.

However, because Amazon doesn’t have its own phones out there, Alexa doesn’t get the same prime placement on Android and iPhone. So it’ll be interesting to see how Amazon plans to make it all a seamless experience on those devices. After all, no matter how cool the glasses are, nobody wants to dive into an app to activate Alexa every time you’d need to talk to the assistant.

What’s interesting about this Alexa project is that Amazon may have the glasses in store by the end of the year.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.