Last year, Amazon announced Echo Frames, which are almost exactly what they sound like — a prescription-ready eyeglasses frame that looks pretty standard but has built-in microphones for you to summon Alexa. They were announced as a “Day One” product, made in limited quantities and only available via a special invitation. But now, a little over a year later, Echo Frames are available to anyone who wants them.
As the first Day 1 item graduating to a full-fledged product, Amazon has made a bunch of improvements to these new Echo Frames. The first model had open-ear speakers where you would hear replies, and the new model can automatically adjust volume based on how loud your surroundings are. Amazon also says battery life is up to 40 percent longer (during continuous playback at 60 percent volume). Another battery improvement comes from an “auto-off” features — if you put the frames upside-down for three seconds, they’ll automatically power down.
The Echo Frames still have the VIP filter that only alerts you to notifications from specific apps and contacts you want to hear from, but Amazon added support for group messages and calendars. Finally, the first Frames were only available in black, but today’s update adds tortoise and blue options as well.
These updates mean that Amazon has raised the price a bit — the new edition of Echo Frames will cost $250, up from $180 for the Day 1 edition. They go up for pre-order today and will be shipping by December 10th.
At the same time, Amazon has announced that its second Day 1 project, the Echo Loop ring, won’t move into production as a full product. Production and sales are ending, but Amazon says that customers’ Loops will keep working as they do now and will continue to receive updates and support.