Amazon announced today that it will be releasing a new line of products that enable voice functions, including eyeglasses, earbuds, and a ring. The products will feature multilingual functionality for Alexa, a new range of voice-controlled Echo speakers, and a privacy feature that will allow the user to delete voice recordings on a regular basis.
Amazon said that in lieu of the company’s virtual assistant, Alexa, a few celebrities are lending their voices to the new products, including Samual L. Jackson. The celebrity voices will be built into the new wearable line of products.
Amazon has been putting a lot of its resources into the innovative technology of voice-controlled computing in order to compete against similar applications such as Apple Inc’s Siri and Google Assistant.
The celebrity voice feature by Amazon will cost its consumers $0.99.
One of Amazon’s new wearables will be Echo Frames, which are eyeglasses that will allow the wearer to communicate with Alexa as they move about.
David Limp, Amazon’s Senior Vice President, said that only wearers of the Echo Frames will hear Alexa speak. Unlike Google Glasses which is targeted towards enterprise consumers, the Echo Frames will not have a visual display.
Limp also explained that another new product, Echo Buds, will feature noise reduction technology by Bose.
Amazon also announced a new deal with the Food Network channel that will enable users of the Echo Show device to tune into celebrity chef Bobby Flay for inquiries about what to prepare in the kitchen.
Flay announced in a promotion: “I can get to be in basically any kitchen in the world, anywhere in the world.”
Amazon released its first Echo speaker product in 2014. Since that time, consumers have purchased more than 100 million Alexa devices, including vacuum cleaners, microwaves, and automobiles. According to the market research firm, eMarketer, Amazon has garnered the largest market share for voice speakers amongst its competitors.
However, consumers have been hesitant to explore all of Alexa’s range of capabilities. Basic hand’s free tasks such as directing Alexa to play music or report the weather remain the top commands used by customers. The company hopes that by utilizing celebrity voices, consumers might interact more with its voice-controlled products.