Talking to your glasses via Amazon's voice assistant is possible. It's a lot like Google Glass. But don't expect it to be affordable.
Scott SteinEditor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
ExpertiseVR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tabletsCredentials
Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Vuzix, makers of various smartglasses and Google Glass-like head wearables for years, are now making smart eyewear compatible with Amazon's Alexa. Bloomberg broke the news ahead of CES, but I got to wear the glasses in Las Vegas. Smartglasses, in general, were all over the crowded convention halls. Gadget makers still want our eyes.
It won't be last wearable to connect with Alexa. Amazon has just made it a lot easier for watches, headphones and more to work with Alexa. It's possible that the Vuzix Blade is an example of what's to come.
The Vuzix Blade is a pair of sorta-sunglass-like glasses that project heads-up information on its lenses. The glasses also have a built-in camera, microphone and side-mounted touchpad. They pair with
or Android phones in order to take calls and to funnel info to your eyes. The Blade will work with prescription lenses, too.
Alexa wasn't working when I tried Vuzix Blade (the place I demoed had bad Wi-Fi connectivity, according to Vuzix). Unfortunately, I don't know how good Alexa on smartglasses could be yet. But the glasses are pretty compact and comfortable.
The thick arms contain extra hardware and a side touchpad for navigation. But the Blade only has a display in one eye, just like Google Glass. It's a decently sized heads-up display, but don't confuse with AR tech that blends 3D images into the real world.
I pulled up a web browser, and played a little game in another app. Taking photos with it reminds me of Google Glass. In fact, a lot of the Blade reminds me of Google Glass (and Glass had a voice assistant, too). The biggest problem with wearing Glass, among other things, was getting used to having an odd headset on all day long that made me feel uncomfortable. Vuzix Blade looks more like normal glasses, but what are the odds that I'd prefer wearing them to a simple pair of earbuds?
Alexa could end up being a versatile partner for heads-up displays, and for those that need assistive wearable tech, it could be great news. But, at $1,000 a pair (roughly converting to £725 in the UK and AU$1,260 in Australia), these are hardly something you'll buy casually. Maybe in another few years. Maybe.
Watch this: Vuzix Blade is a pair of glasses with Amazon Alexa