If people are already lining up days in advance for Apple's new iPhone, what will they do for Amazon's first wearable product?

According to a report from the Financial Times, Amazon is expected to release a pair of smart glasses that allows you to use the Alexa voice assistant as soon as this year. The device will connect wirelessly to smartphones and have a "bone-conduction audio system" so users can hear Alexa without earphones or conventional speakers. What's more, the glasses reportedly won't have a screen or camera.

The move into wearables is a risky one -- both Google and Apple had a difficult time making them mainstream. But Amazon is tapping into the popularity of Alexa and virtual assistants to entice users. An estimated 8.2 million customers own an Amazon Echo device, according to a Consumer Intelligence Research Partners report from January 2017. That's a 60 percent increase from the 5.1 million users in November of 2016.

Alexa has also become a cultural presence. On Sept. 13, South Park returned for its 21st season and included a prank on Alexa users. Cartman, one of the devilish characters, asked his Alexa to put crude items on a shopping list and set an alarm for 7 a.m., triggering audiences' devices to do the same.

Published on: Sep 20, 2017