Amazon.com Inc. is widening its business at a rapid pace as the company is looking to make an Alexa supported wireless earbuds to compete against the current leaders of wireless earbuds Apple Inc.’s AirPods.
Planning earbuds with built-in Alexa support, the Seattle-based e-commerce monster is ready to dethrone the Apple AirPods according to the people associated with the company. While headphones are reportedly designed and kept similar to AirPods, Amazon is pushing the audio quality a bit more with their earbuds as compared to AirPods. Similar to AirPods, the Amazon gadget will also sit inside the ears without any clip or wire around it.
According to the people who are associated with the project, this has been one of the most important projects for Amazon’s Lab126 hardware division. Since it is still an underground work, they asked not to be identified. This is the same hardware division that was reported by Bloomberg to be working on a home robot code-named Vesta for people who has Alexa.
The headphones will be a multi-functional gadget where people will use their voice to access music, order goods, know weather information, and other on-the-go information. As previously known, you can call Amazon’s digital assistant by simply saying- “Alexa”. Furthermore, there will be some physical gesture functions too such as a tap (single or multiple) to pick or end calls, play/pause/change songs. Amazon has not commented on any of these functions but you will witness these soon.
Apple AirPods cost $159 to $199 and Amazon will be eyeing to undercut the competition since this is the department every other company can beat Apple easily.
This will be a major test for Amazon as the company has been seeing ups and downs in the gadget releases lately. The history speaks how the Fire smartphone from Amazon was a flop in 2015 where the unexpected Echo smart speakers became a giant hit in the market (and even triggered the smart-speaker world). Reportedly, Amazon has made Alexa open for other headphone makers too, such as Bose Corp.
Alexa has been widely appreciated but its growth still remains vain due to no support of a smartphone or a mobile operating system. Where Apple and Google has a giant ready-made user base for its digital assistants as the technology is featured in millions of iPhones, iPads, Android devices, Alexa gets limited to the smart-speakers, which sooner or later, needs to change for the growth of Alexa.
The new Amazon earbuds is a great start to expand its user-base but ultimately, situations will ask for big changes. For now, Amazon will not have built-in cellular connectivity and will need pairing with user smartphone. This means Alexa will work with Apple or Google, which it already does through Alexa apps. As time will pass, things will complicate as Amazon is trying to have an early edge in the voice-based computing but without the user base.
The wireless earbuds from Amazon will have a storage case that will also charge the buds. You can plug a standard USB cable in the device. According to the reports, headphones are being tested in gray and black colors for now.
The earbuds will come in a storage case that doubles as a charger. Users will be able to plug it in over a standard USB cable. The company has tested the headphones in black and gray colors, the people also said.
If you remember, this is not the first attempt a company is making an attempt to dethrone AirPods. Last year Google Pixel Buds were launched to face AirPods which were criticized for a poor charging case.