Amazon to roll out Windows PC shopping app and smart glasses for Alexa
Amazon will launch a Windows-compatible PC app for its Alexa digital assistant that will directly compete with Microsoft's Cortana. The Alexa app will operate on HP, Lenovo, Asus and Acer Windows 10 laptops and desktops.
The app will allow users to access the same shopping information that is available on the Alexa web interface and mobile apps but through their laptops and desktops operating on the Windows 10 system. Users can use keyboard shortcuts to activate Alexa or by the "Alexa wake" command.
The launch of the Alexa app comes after Amazon and Microsoft partnered up last year to integrate the technologies and then ultimately missed their 2017 launch date. With the launch of the PC app, Amazon is making an independent play to use Alexa on Windows.
With PC integration, Alexa will be a strong Windows option, competing against both Google Assistant and Microsoft's Cortana.
Amazon is also debuting Alexa smart glasses under the name Vuzix Blade AR Smart Glasses. Amazon's smart glasses are lightweight, weighing under 3 ounces. They look like sunglasses and are transparent so that users can integrate augmented reality into their daily activities.
The Alexa smart glasses pick up where Google Glass left off when it was pulled from the market. They link with a phone, similar to a smartwatch, and can then project directions, stock quotes, sports scores, and social feeds, while still allowing users to see their surroundings.
Other Alexa applications anticipated for the future include using Alexa for smart bathroom-mirror lighting by Kohler, and various Bluetooth speaker integrations for headphones, smartwatches and fitness trackers, for which Amazon will partner with Bose and iHome among other brands.
Amazon will debut its latest Alexa developments, including the PC app and smart glasses at the CES tech show in Las Vegas this week. The glasses will retail for $1,000.
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