Amazon wants to be king of the nerd goggles

Glasshole Bezos sees no shame

Something to quicken the pulses of middle-aged men in the shower, whose surname rhymes with "Noble"*.

Amazon is reportedly working on a pair of smart specs, its first wearable. The eyewear will "look like a regular pair of spectacles so that it [can] be worn comfortably and unobtrusively", the FT reports.

The paper doesn't suggest that Amazon's nerd goggles will replicate Google Glass's HUD-style display. But they will be listening for the wake word all the time, presumably, with a "bone-conduction audio system" piping Alexa's soothing words into your ear – a running robot commentary.

Ominously, the FT notes that Amazon hired Babak Parviz, the "visionary behind Google Glass" in 2014.

Since Google launched the ill-fated Glass in 2012, only Snap has been bold (or foolish) enough to replicate the experience in any way. Snap's Spectacles are far more modest than Google Glass, and much less creepy: they're really a very cheap wearable video camera that takes 10 or 30-second clips, a budget GoPro. Snap sells them through kiosks and online. The free Metro newspaper described charging the specs as "exhilarating".

The Glass fiasco may have poisoned "smart" specs for a generation. "Glassholes" were attacked in bars, thrown out of cinemas, and by the time Google posted an etiquette guide, it was too late. Developers were dropping like flies.

"If you find yourself staring off into the prism for long periods of time you're probably looking pretty weird to the people around you," Google wrote.

Or if you ever filmed yourself taking a shower. ®

Bootnote

*Admittedly, not a large demographic.


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