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Amazon Unveils Update To Alexa-Powered Glasses

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Just a few days after introducing Amazon Pharmacy, where consumers can get their prescription medicines delivered to their front door, Amazon made a much more interesting product announcement yesterday.

Amazon announced an upgraded model of its Alexa-powered glasses called the Echo Frames. Amazon also announced the Echo Frames would graduate from a "Day 1 Edition" used for testing and feedback to a product now available to everyone.

Amazon says the new Echo Frames have better audio quality, a 40% longer battery life and new colors. The glasses include a VIP Filter, which allows users to set which apps and contacts they want to receive notifications from.

The glasses cost $249.99 and will begin shipping on December 10. Customers who have the Day 1 Edition Echo Frames will be able to purchase the second-generation glasses for just $70.

"Nestled in the temples, open-ear audio directs sound toward your ears, so you can ask Alexa to make a phone call, listen to music, control your smart home, hear notifications, and more—all while keeping your ears uncovered," wrote Amazon's Director of Echo Frames Jean Wang. "It's the best of both worlds—personal audio with the magic of Alexa when you want it, while still being able to tune in to the world around you."

Echo Frames are shipped with non-corrective lenses and are compatible with most prescription lenses. Amazon says the glasses can be replaced with prescription lenses at any LensCrafters location or eyewear professional.

Amazon also announced another Day 1 Editions product—the Echo Loop, will not advance beyond the Day 1 Editions program. The Echo Loop, which is an Alexa-powered smart ring, was introduced last year alongside the Echo Frames as the first products in the program.

"With Echo Frames generally available, we have also decided that Echo Loop will not advance beyond the Day 1 Editions program, with production and sales ending," Wang wrote. "We learned a lot about how customers want to use Alexa for short, snackable content throughout the day, and we will take that with us as we continue to invent new customer experiences."

Amazon will continue to provide support and updates for the Echo Loop, enabling customers to continue to use it as they currently do.

With the market for smart glasses paling in comparison to other smart devices such as phones or home speakers, Amazon was encouraged with what it saw in testing and is confident in making the Echo Frames available to everyone.

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