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Amazon Echo Frames: We decided we don't really want to wear Alexa

por Boyd Bernstein (2022-08-08)

SAO PAULO - The boat used by killed British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira to travel to Brazil's Amazon was found on Sunday evening, authorities said in a statement.

Amazon gets points here as some other audio-focused smart glasses, such as Bose's $200 Frames Alto and Rondo sunglasses, haven't always made this as easy. Because the glasses I received didn't have prescription lenses, I wore mine with my contact lenses and it worked out fine. After initially launching without them, late last year Bose added the ability to purchase or update its Frames with prescription lenses in the US. But the Echo Frames can be fitted with prescription lenses, with Amazon publishing a little guide (PDF) for you to take to a local optician.

The open-ear approach also makes for challenging listening when walking a busy New York street.  The Frames have four speakers (two in each arm), but when I played music, it often sounded hollow and tinny, Classical Books with songs sounding like they were being clipped at higher volumes.

The service tends to come behind and 's massive subscriber numbers with over 75 million users. Yet the tech and retail giant's streaming arm is muscular in its own right with lots of high-quality original shows and movies, an impressive back catalog of older favorites (and B-movies you haven't heard of), Yankees games on Fridays and NFL on Thursday nights. 

SAO PAULO - The chief executive of Brazil's state-run oil company Petrobras resigned on Monday in the face of mounting pressure from politicians after the firm announced a fuel price hike last week, adding to inflation concerns in an election year.

SANTIAGO - None of Chile's four former living presidents will attend July's ceremonial handover of the proposed new constitution to President Gabriel Boric, ahead of a referendum in September which will determine its implementation.

I also couldn't change the default mapping option to Google Maps on iOS. Instead, it defaults to the Maps app, which gave voice directions over Bluetooth the same way it would with any headphones. Alexa didn't even handle the turn-by-turn navigation. At that point, it was no different than just grabbing my phone. For some tasks, like when I asked for directions, Alexa directed me to the Alexa app on my phone, which opened Apple Maps.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the company is formally known, said in a securities filing that Chief Executive Jose Mauro Coelho had resigned on Monday morning and an interim CEO would now be appointed for the board's consideration.

Echo Frames look nice, but feel cheap With thick black lenses à la Tina Belcher, the Echo Frames aren't going to be for everyone. The plastic arms -- which house components including the speakers, microphones, battery and magnetic charging connector -- were light and comfortable, even after wearing them for hours on end.  But they do have a modern, polished look.

Amazon's Echo Frames drew plenty of attention when they were announced last year among the company's Alexa-powered blitz of new products. Unlike Google's ill-fated Glass or Snapchat's Spectacles, Amazon's $250 specs (discounted to $180 as part of its invite-only Day One edition prelaunch) look largely like regular glasses. They also lack cameras, outward-facing lights or a heads-up display. 

But Prime Video doesn't run regular advertising, so you won't see ads for things like soda or trucks during any commercial breaks in your programming. The exception is within the Freevee category. You may see a short promo for an Amazon Original before a show. Another perk: Prime Video is generally ad-free.

Keep in mind that muting the mics on the glasses will mute them for everything, including for phone calls. When I wanted to talk to someone I had to remember to unmute my glasses, which was a bit of a pain.

This greatly limits their augmented reality potential in their current form and I have yet to find any Alexa skills designed for being used out and about. Unlike Google Glass, for example, which had a small heads-up display for displaying information and a camera for capturing the world around you, the Echo Frames are audio-only.

Roughly a half-hour of charging got me back to 60%, with Amazon saying that a full charge takes about 75 minutes. You will want to keep that USB charging cable handy to make sure you can get through a full day.

You'll find favorites like Sesame Street, SpongeBob SquarePants, Shaun the Sheep and Thomas and Friends along with originals like Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny.  Another area where Prime Video stands out is its selection of kids' shows.

It's where you can watch the latest Savage X Fenty fashion show, originals such as Sound of Metal and The Boys or live concerts from artists like Carrie Underwood.  Epic fantasy series, theatrical film releases, Rihanna, MLB and football all share space on a common platform: Amazon's Prime Video.

In the Frames, Amazon's smart assistant really isn't much better than Siri.  The big appeal of the Echo Frames, of course, isn't the style but the technology. After becoming a mainstay in millions of households, Alexa truly moves outside the house with the Frames. But this is nothing like Jarvis in the Iron Man movies.