Amazon is attempting to develop glasses that pair with Alexa and would allow users to access the voice-activated assistant outside the home, according to a newspaper report.
The Financial Times, citing anonymous sources, says the glasses could be released before the end of the year.
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) , based in Seattle, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
Wearable technology, glasses specifically, is already in limited use. Snapchat sells $130 glasses that take a short video and post it on the social media app. And Alphabet Inc. sells Google Glass to employers, so that doctors or factory workers can search information or talk to co-workers hands free.
Alexa has become a significant force for Amazon as it looks to take over the smart home market, adding to the masses of Amazon shoppers and maintaining closer connections with them, according to CNET, a CBSNews.com sibling website. The digital assistant has been integrated into Amazon Fire tablets, too, allowing people to cue up a song, pause a movie, dim the lights or check the weather entirely with voice interaction.
CNET notes that Amazon's array of Echo devices has worked out well for the company, giving it 71 percent of the US smart speaker market, according to eMarketer. The newer Google Home speaker has 24 percent of the market, with the Apple HomePod set to arrive later this year.
But smart glasses may be a harder sell, according to CNET. Certainly that was the case for Google Glass, the search giant's ill-fated effort effort a few years back. The high-tech eyewear provoked widespread anxiety about invasion of privacy and backlash against gadgetry overstepping its bounds, leading to a new putdown: "glassholes." More recently, Snapchat maker Snap found a favorable reaction for its camera-equipped Spectacles, but that craze seems to have faded.