Amazon is developing Alexa-powered earbuds that also come packing a fitness tracker.
That’s according to a person directly involved in the project who revealed the hearable was in the works to CNBC.
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The project is currently going under the codename ‘Puget’ and along with smart assistant support, is also expected to house an accelerometer motion sensor. That will enable it to track fitness metrics such as distance run, running pace and estimate calorie burn during workouts.
Apparently the earbuds will play nice with Android and iPhones and would be priced below $100. That would make them cheaper to pick up than a pair of Apple AirPods.
It’s not clear when the Alexa earbuds will launch, though Amazon is hosting a big hardware event on 25 September in Seattle. So maybe we could see them there.
This certainly isn’t the first time we’ve heard talk that the company has been exploring launching a hearable. Back in April this year, a report from Bloomberg suggested Amazon was working on a truly wireless pair of earbuds. The buds would work similarly to AirPods and even come with a charging case that uses standard USB. It was also suggested Amazon was testing black and grey colorways for the hearable to launch in.
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The report did also refer to delays Amazon had faced developing the device that would let Alexa do everything it can do on your phone from your ear. So, giving you weather updates, controlling your smart home, reading your flash briefings and even letting you call people.
Alexa has already appeared in some hearables including the ill-fated Bragi Dash and headphones from the likes of Bose. We’ve also seen fitness tracking headphones from the likes of Jabra and Bose, though it will be interesting to see if Amazon can offer something more compelling when it comes to tracking fitness from the ears.
Amazon has already made big moves to put its smart assistant into more devices and it wouldn’t be all that surprising to see the ears get the Alexa treatment too.
Now we wait to see whether the AirPods rivals turn up in the coming days, months or this is one to earmark for some point further down the line.