Fashion Meets Function:
Smart Glasses with Alexa
Linda Conlin, ABOC, NCLEC
Upon completion of this course, the participant should be able to:
- Describe the features and benefits of Alexa-powered eyewear.
- Understand technology that allows customers to stay connected but blends seamlessly into their lifestyle when not in use.
- Describe the multiple lens options available for these smart glasses.
Linda Conlin, ABOC, NCLEC, is the Managing Editor for 2020 Magazine Pro to Pro. With more than 40 years' experience in the optical industry, she has held various positions as an optician and in management, is a past Chair of the Connecticut Board of Examiners for Opticians, taught opticians at the college level, and created a program for continuing education for opticians. For more than 20 years, she has authored ABO/NCLE accredited courses and lectured at national and state venues.
This course is approved for one (1) hour of CE credit by the American Board of Opticianry - ABO, Level 1, General knowledge. Course # SWJHI1002
This course introduces smart audio glasses—an emerging new technology in eyewear. Is it asking too much for our glasses to be smart? Thankfully, no, as evidenced by the rapid technological advancement of smart glasses. Nothing stops the march of progress, and this holds true for eyewear, which now can do so much more than correct vision, with the help of artificial intelligence. In our fast-paced, digitally-driven lifestyle, one of the things we look for are products and technologies that simplify our lives. Echo Frames and Carrera Smart Glasses have open-ear audio with speakers in the temples that direct sound straight to your ears. So you can listen to music or make a call totally hands free and still hear your people, your city and what you want to listen to at the same time. These smart glasses with Alexa keep you in the moment and are designed to feel like you are wearing a traditional pair of eyewear.
The appeal of smart glasses with Alexa spans all generations and genders. These customers want to seamlessly incorporate technology into their busy lifestyles. Smart glasses with Alexa are available in prescription ready lenses, blue light filtering lenses and sunglass lenses to accommodate a wide range of activities including use with computers, driving, walking and hiking. As opticians, we can see the technological appeal, but it is important that these frames must be both functional and stylish. So, when it came to developing the new generation of Echo Frames, the Amazon smart eyewear team worked backwards from what customers wanted—putting an emphasis on aesthetics and comfort for all-day wear while making the technical improvements customers requested. The result is the all-new smart glasses available in the next-generation Echo Frames and new styles from Carrera that combine high-end fashion with Alexa, Amazon's voice AI.
"Choosing the right eyewear is about so much more than just finding a pair of glasses to help with vision correction—it's a reflection of your unique personality and style," says Jean Wang, director of smart eyewear at Amazon. "With smart eyewear, it is important for customers to feel and look great with the world's best personal AI that instantly connects, entertains and helps you be even more productive. That is why we have completely redesigned our Echo Frames and added two styles by Carrera, providing customers with more options at the intersection of fashion and technology."
Echo Frames are smart audio glasses designed to help customers stay connected—and look good while doing it. The perfect combination of fashion and function is embodied in the third generation of Echo Frames, with improved audio and battery life, is now available in new classic and fashion-forward styles. Echo Frames come in five new styles: Square, Rectangle, Modern Rectangle and fashion forward styles like Round and Cat Eye. All styles are available in prescription ready, blue light filtering and sunglasses (except Rectangle). Cat Eye is available in brown gradient sunglasses and Square, Round and Modern Rectangle are available in polarized sunglasses.
CARRERA SMART GLASSES
The all-new collaboration with Safilo brings together the iconic styling of the legendary Carrera brand with cutting edge, open-ear audio technology and Alexa. Carrera's daring attitude has pioneered iconic designs since its inception in 1956. In this spirit, Carrera introduces a new era of smart eye-wear, where its bold styling meets the innovation and intelligence of Alexa. Carrera Smart Glasses come in two styles: Sprinter and Cruiser. Sprinter is one of Carrera's best-selling sport-inspired styles and Cruiser is Carrera's iconic silhouette with a full-rim pilot profile featuring the iconic Carrera "C." Sprinter is available in blue light filtering lenses and polarized sunglasses, while Cruiser is available in grey gradient sunglasses.
MATERIALS AND TECHNOLOGY FOR FASHION AND FUNCTION
To design the new generation of smart glasses with Alexa in a variety of shapes and sizes, the Amazon smart eyewear team had to solve design and engineering challenges, including removing the circuitry from the frame front, while designing the temples to be 15 percent slimmer than the previous generation. They prioritized high-quality frame materials that are used in the designer eyewear industry, such as handcrafted Mazzucchelli Italian acetate frame fronts in most styles. Additionally, the frames feature German-engineered flexible spring hinges for comfort and a secure fit. All styles have TR-90 temples and adjustable temple tips made with soft-touch silicone and a lightweight titanium temple core that are designed to improve comfort behind the ear. The frames have IPX4 for splash resistance to water and sweat and to stand up to the elements on a rainy day or a misty sunrise hike. Prescription ready glasses have non-prescription (plano) lenses designed to have prescription lenses added by an eyecare provider. All sunglasses and blue light filtering glasses protect your eyes from harmful UV rays by blocking UVA/UVB rays and come with an anti-reflective coating and scratch resistant lens treatment. The entire collection comes in a standard fit bridge and a range of frame sizes: narrow, medium or wide. Narrow styles include Echo Frames Round and Rectangle ranging from 50 to 55 mm eye size. Medium styles include Echo Frames Square and Cat Eye ranging from 54 to 56 mm eye size. Wide styles include Echo Frames Modern Rectangle, Carrera Sprinter and Carrera Cruiser ranging from 57 to 60 mm eye size.
Find your fit: Customers can use the smart glasses with Alexa Find Your Fit guide (echoframes.com) to find the right size frame for their face. The fit guide is designed to help customers find the ideal frame for their face, so they can look and feel good in their frames. For customers who already have a pair of glasses that fit well, they can compare their existing frame's measurements with those of the style of choice. Customers can virtually try on the collection online through the Amazon mobile shopping app on the product detail page or visit in-store authorized retailers.
ADDING PRESCRIPTION LENSES
Echo Frames and Carrera Smart Glasses are designed to be compatible with prescription lenses, just like any other acetate frames. Included in the smart glasses with Alexa packaging is an Optician Guide that customers can present to their preferred eyecare professional to have prescription lenses fitted to their frames (Fig. 5). This card contains important information to help fit prescription lenses into Echo Frames and Carrera Smart Glasses. The suggested prescription range (spherical equivalent) covers -8.00 to +4.00. High index lenses are recommended for prescriptions of -5.00 or higher. As an eyecare provider, simply determine the appropriate prescription as you would with acetate frames. Please use your best judgement that you feel would serve your patient population.
Warranty and worry-free lens installation: In the unlikely event that the smart glasses break during the installation of prescription lenses, Amazon will replace them. For more information, see www.amazon. com/devicewarranty. They come with a one-year limited warranty and service included. An optional two-year extended warranty is available for U.S. customers, sold separately on amazon.com.
Instructions on how to make optimal adjustments: Before making any adjustments, please refer to the Optician Guide (echoframes.com). Since these smart glasses contain electronics in the temples, adjustments can only be made to the acetate frame front and temple tips. You can edge, insert and remove lenses with hot or cold mount as you would with acetate frames. It is okay to heat the acetate frame front for lens insertion and nose bridge adjustments. For frame front lens insertion, apply heat as needed at your discretion. There are a few areas that are not adjustable due to electronics. Do not heat the endpieces, hinges, temples and temple tips. Do not adjust with pliers as they will damage internal sensors. Do not apply tilt to the frame front. If desired, progressive lenses may be used but the frame front does not support a pantoscopic tilt. Since these smart glasses contain electronics, there are a few important things to remember when cleaning. They are splash-resistant for water and sweat but are not waterproof and should not be rinsed under running water or submerged in an ultrasonic cleaner. To clean the temples, it is recommended to use a soft, dry cloth. To clean the lenses, it is recommended to spray lens cleaner onto a soft cloth to clean the lenses.
Store finder feature for Rx lens fulfillment: After the customer purchases and receives their smart glasses, they can add prescription lenses by visiting their preferred optician or find a nearby eyecare provider with the new Store Finder feature on amazon.com. There are nearly 3,000 locations listed on the Store Finder for Rx lens fulfillment, including MyEyeDr., PECAA member practices, Visionworks, Cohen's Fashion Optical, Eyeglass World and America's Best Contacts and Eyeglasses. To find a nearby eyecare provider, go to the "Add Prescription Lenses" section on the product detail pages (amazon.com/ echoframes and amazon.com/carrerasmart- glasses) and the brand store prescription page (echoframes.com). Locations appear on the store finder when customers search by zip code, displaying locations within a 25-mile radius in order of proximity.
Note about insurance reimbursement: Many vision insurance providers offer out-of-network reimbursements for smart glasses with Alexa. Customers can also use their FSA or HSA to pay for your frames if they have added prescription lenses. While the customer may be able to get reimbursed for their purchase by their vision insurance company, they should confirm coverage in advance with their insurance company directly. Amazon has confirmed insurance reimbursement for insurers VSP, EyeMed, Cigna and MetLife. Submitting a claim is easy, and the customer can access instructions on the insurance page (echoframes.com).
Ears wide open: Echo Frames and Carrera Smart Glasses have high quality open-ear audio without the discomfort of headphones. They have speakers that direct sound to your ears without covering them and minimizes what others around you can hear. There are two microspeakers with one in each temple and four beamforming microphones with two in each temple. With improved bass, dynamic mid-range and crisp highs delivering a premium and discrete audio listening experience, Echo Frames and Carrera Smart Glasses have been completely reconfigured for an enhanced audio experience. All styles include a new custom-built speaker driver and redesigned open-ear audio architecture that delivers three times the bass with improved audio quality and balance, compared to the previous generation. Custom-built speech processing technology also improves Alexa wake word performance, with 10 times better recognition in loud or windy conditions than the previous generation. Each pair can also achieve double the volume for clearer calls in outdoor and noisy environments.
Alexa everywhere you go: Alexa is Amazon's voice AI. Alexa lives in the cloud and is happy to help anywhere there's internet access and a device that can connect to Alexa. Making Alexa part of your day is as simple as asking a question. Alexa can play your favorite song, read the latest headlines, dim the lights in your living room and more. Basically, Alexa wants to make your life easier, more meaningful and more fun by helping you voice control your world—both at home and on the go. Echo Frames and Carrera Smart Glasses are a lifestyle product and therein lies the true appeal. In addition to the Alexa features customers already know and love, like enjoying music, podcasts and phone calls without blocking the world around us, smart glasses with Alexa are loaded with features to simplify our customers' lives:
Imagine all the ways to use Alexa in your daily life on the go. For example, take the dog for a walk and still hear traffic, or listen to a podcast while making dinner and still hear the kids playing in the other room. For music and entertainment, customers can say "Alexa, play Taylor Swift" or "Alexa, resume my audible book." To set the volume, customers can say "Alexa, volume five" (say a number from zero to 10, with 10 being the max volume). For productivity, customers can say "Alexa, what time is it?" or "Alexa, what's on my calendar today." To stay informed, customers can say "Alexa, what's the temperature outside?" or "Alexa, how is my commute?" To control your smart TV without speaking over it, customers can say "Alexa, TV off."
Hands-free communication: Keep in touch with open-ear audio calling, so the customer never has to pull out their phone to make a call. You can call your loved ones hands free while staying present, say "Alexa, call mom."
Personalized music made easy: With this new audio entertainment feature, customers don't need to fumble around with their phone or say anything to begin playing music—they can simply double press the back action button on their Echo Frames or Carrera Smart Glasses to start a recommended playlist from select music providers. They can press again to quickly browse a selection of personalized playlists on supported music services.
Control your smart home from any- where: Check to see if the front door is locked, turn on/off lights, and set the thermostat when away from home. Here are a few ways to use Alexa for Smart Home: say, "Alexa, turn on bedroom lamp," "Alexa, turn off kitchen lights at 10 p.m.," or "Alexa, lock the front door."
Connect simultaneously to multiple devices: Seamlessly pair and switch between two audio sources connected to your smart glasses, without toggling the settings. That means you can take a video call on your laptop and simply switch to listening to music on your phone when walking out the door.
Filter notifications: VIP Filter allows the customer to hear the notifications that are most important to them, without taking out their phone. The feature also recognizes when the customer is listening to audio and delivers a low distraction chime without disrupting their flow and automatically detects when they are not engaged in conversation to bring the most important phone notifications.
Easily locate misplaced glasses: Alexa can help locate lost or misplaced smart glasses with Alexa. Once set up, customers can say, "Alexa, find my smart glasses," to another Echo device or in the Alexa app, and the customer will hear the glasses' last-known location.
Battery life: Get up to six hours of continuous media playback or up to 14 hours of moderate usage. Moderate usage includes two hours 30 minutes of media playback, one hour of talk time, 20 Alexa interactions and 90 incoming notifications, all intermittently throughout the day. To conserve battery, simply fold the frames when not in use to automatically turn off. To check the battery level, customers can say "Alexa, what is my battery level?"
Charging stand: The included charging stand works with all smart glasses with Alexa styles to keep lenses upright, protecting them from scratches. To charge, the glasses are placed upright on the charging stand until the green light turns on. Smart glasses with Alexa fully charge in approximately two and a half hours with a 5W USB power adapter (Fig. 8).
DESIGNED TO PROTECT CUSTOMERS' PRIVACY
Smart glasses with Alexa are built with multiple layers of privacy controls including microphones designed to respond to the voice of the person wearing the frames and muting with the double press of a button. Customers have control over their voice recordings and can view, hear or delete them at any time. Wake Words and Indicators: Alexa doesn't begin listening until your smart glasses detect the wake word "Alexa." An audible tone or a blue status light lets you know when audio is being sent to Amazon's secure cloud. Microphone controls: To mute your smart glasses microphones at any time for privacy, simply press the front action button twice. Voice history: Want to know exactly what Alexa heard? You can view and delete your voice recordings in the Alexa app at any time. Here are a few ways to use Alexa for ways to explore privacy protections and controls: say, "Alexa, how do you protect my privacy?" or "Alexa, how do I delete my voice recordings?"
SUSTAINABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY
Smart glasses with Alexa have the Climate Pledge Friendly badge certified by the Carbon Trust. Device packaging is 100 percent recyclable, and the charging stand is made with 35 percent recycled materials. In addition, Amazon's renewable energ y projects will produce the clean energ y equivalent to the electricity used by every customer's Echo device by 2025. On the product detail pages for Echo Frames and Carrera Smart Glasses, customers will also find a Product Sustainability Fact Sheet containing additional information about device life cycle carbon emissions and sustainability impact.
Accessibility is important to the Amazon smart eyewear team; they wanted everyone to be able to use the devices easily. For this reason, they included several accessibility features including enabling closed captioning services on their Alexa app for use with their smart glasses and syncing their smartphone's screen reader with their glasses.
Eyewear can do more than just correct vision. Customers can now experience the fusion of fashion and technology with the latest collections of smart audio glasses with Alexa from Echo Frames and Carrera Smart Glasses. The third generation of Echo Frames now has improved audio and battery life, and is available in new styles ranging from classic to fashion forward shapes. For the tech-savvy trend setter on-the-go, Alexa makes life easier, more meaningful and more fun by giving the wearer voice control over their world hands free. The wearer enjoys the new possibilities of taking Alexa everywhere they go. Wherever they are, they can ask Alexa to play the perfect playlist, audio book or podcast, or make a call without stopping to look at the phone. Check to see if the front door is locked, turn on/off lights and set the thermostat at home when away. Ask Alexa to set reminders to stay on top of your day. Explore surroundings by asking Alexa to find restaurants, shops or whatever else you are looking for. All while enjoying high quality audio without the discomfort of headphones. Echo Frames and Carrera Smart Glasses with Alexa speakers direct sound to your ears without covering them, while minimizing what others around you can hear. Now with improved bass and crystal-clear highs, Echo Frames and Carrera Smart Glasses with Alexa deliver an even more enhanced and discreet audio listening experience than ever before.
Expertly crafted and designed, smart glasses with Alexa ensure customers don't have to compromise on fashion or function. Smart glasses are the most exciting trend in eye-wear—with Echo Frames and Carrera Smart Glasses, the future of eyewear is now!