Amazon brings Alexa digital assistant along for the ride with Toyota

Pat Wise
January 13, 2018

Amazon confirmed that Rochester, New York-based Vuzix's device will be the first smart glasses with Alexa.

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Instead of adding a bulk of code to enable Alexa integration, Amazon claims that the Alexa Mobile Accessory Kit enables OEMs to connect their Bluetooth audio-capable devices directly to the Alexa Voice Service (AVS) via the Amazon Alexa app on end users' mobile devices. Further reports also reveal that Vizux's augmented reality glasses might be offered cheaper by next year.

According to estimates by the online publication Voicebot.ai, Amazon had sold over 20 million Echo units (featuring Alexa) by October of last year-and this was before Black Friday and the holiday season.

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AR hardware company Vuzix designed a pair of smart sunglasses that are compatible with Amazon's Alexa.

If it seems like Amazon is putting Alexa into absolutely everything, the e-commerce giant may feel like it has to in order to remain the clear No. 1 in the virtual assistant market.

Voice assistants and augmented-reality products will be highlighted at next week's CES consumer electronics show.

Amazon hasn't said whether it will release its own branded smart glasses with Alexa, but Travers expects it to happen. Amazon would generate revenue from its Alexa service, while Vuzix's smart glasses would easily appeal to the smart assistant's following. The latest development is a lightweight solution of the AVS Device SDK that the company launched past year to let OEMs start integrating Alexa into their Bluetooth-supported connected devices. We'll know more about the company's new range of laptops in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for updates. While it's a "high price point", he said, "the ultimate goal is to have it under $500, and we'll be able to do that" by 2019.

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