Amazon's Alexa-Enabled AirPods Rival Expected To Include Integrated Fitness Tracking Features
Do not fret about that voice you are hearing in your head, it is just Alexa, the helpful digital assistant that dutifully works for Amazon. Oh, what's that, there aren't any voices in your head? Well then, give it time and perhaps there soon will be—Amazon is apparently working on a set of wireless earbuds with Alexa built into them.
Wireless earbuds with smart functionality built into them are growing in popularity thanks in large part to efforts by Apple (AirPods) and Samsung (Galaxy Buds). Not to be outdone, Amazon will throw its hat into the ring, despite not offering its own brand smartphone.
According to CNBC, the wireless earbuds are codenamed Puget. They will come with an integrated accelerometer and will have a dual focus on fitness, with the ability to keep track of distances when walking or running, the pace at which a person is jogging, and how many calories were burned.
Amazon is also working on a bigger Echo device with improved sound. Both it and the wireless earbuds are part of a larger strategy to increase Alexa's presence, essentially making the digital assistant available practically everywhere (not just in the home).
Since Amazon does not have its own phone and accompanying mobile ecosystem, the earbuds would require an iPhone or Android handset. Not surprisingly, Amazon would set its earbuds apart with a cheaper price tag than the competition—they are expected to debut for under $100, making them comparatively affordable.
Extending the reach of Alexa is an interesting move, though so is the fitness angle. These earbuds would be Amazon's first foray into the health sector through a hardware product, and could potentially be a big selling point.
It's not clear when the earbuds (or the new Echo device) will debut, though Amazon's annual hardware event is scheduled for Wednesday, September 25.