After Apple introduced hands-free access to Siri through AirPods 2, Amazon is set to follow suit. Amazon is reportedly working on bringing its own wireless earbuds that will also be the first Alexa wearable.
Alexa, Amazon's voice-based digital assistant, is powering a lot of smart internet-connected devices. However, it has not been integrated with earbuds before.
The purported Alexa earbuds are expected to take on the design and features of the Apple AirPods, but offer enhanced audio quality, reported a Bloomberg story.
It will come in a storage case that will double as a charger. Price for the Alexa version is expected to be down from the $159-$199 that an average airpod costs.
To activate the virtual assistant, users will have to simply say "Alexa". In addition to voice support, the earbuds are also expected to support gesture controls for taking calls and skipping music tracks. It will also allow users to check the weather, order goods, and access information on-the-go.
Despite being one of the first manufacturers in the smart speaker category, Amazon is facing hurdles in developing the earbuds as it has been looking for parts suppliers and manufacturing partners over the last few months.
The business of earbuds is a fast-growing sector of wearables, with Counterpoint Research claiming 12.5 million pairs as being sold in the fourth quarter. Apple’s AirPods own a lion's share or 60 percent of the market.
In 2016, Airpods were considered a joke after Apple launched them. However, by 2019, Airpod has offered $17.4 billions in Apple's annual revenue or 7 percent in the last fiscal year. The Airpod success even prompted Samsung to launch a similar line-up- the Galaxy buds.
Google too launched an alternative named Pixel Buds in 2018, however, it failed to create demand.
Amazon which has the Alexa plugin aspires to add some spark in this category with its Alexa buds. Will it sizzle or fail, however only time can say.
With inputs from ANI