Amazon have come up with some many new devices in the last 12 months it’s left a lot of Alexa fans wondering ‘Will Amazon launch a Smartwatch with Alexa?’.
Fair question considering Amazon have launched the echo auto, echo frames (glasses), echo Buds (earphones) and echo loop (smart ring) in to their smart wearables category. A watch, surely is in the works?
Apple and Samsung have dominated the market with the Apple Watch and Salamsung Galaxy watch series (Watch3, active). Google have realised their Wear OS software is lacking as is their hardware so it makes sense for them to acquire FitBit to speed up their move to get Google Assistant embedded in your life.
Google Assistant still remains top banana of smart assistants so Android fans will relish what ever Google have planned over in 2021.
Amazon have the money, the smart assistant and a lot of experience developing hardware but nothing.
Dave Limp is currently Amazon’s senior vice president of devices & services. His comments on Amazon’s take on a wearable smartwatch amount to little. His take is that the department is looking at areas to break ground in. Based on their past 12 month release calendar this is certainly true. No other major competitor has gone for smart glasses (that look almost normal) or put a ring on your finger.
Now just because there isn’t currently an Amazon Alexa Smartwatch, there are smart watches with Alexa.
Before Google took a land grab at FitBit they did release the Fitbit Versa 2 which had Alexa built in.
Another company that has put the lovely voice of Alexa on your wrist is Amazfit with their Verge Smartwatch with Alexa built-in. Amazfit are the maker of the Mi Band and considered the second largest wearables manufacturer.
Entrepreneurs have seen space in this market. Cowatch an Indigogo startup launched the iMCO CoWatch with Amazon Alexa back in 2016 but it seems it didn’t do enough to deliver what people expected. The industry has moved a long way forward since then.
So the list now grows and includes (not exhaustive):
- Wyze Band Activity Tracker with Alexa Built-in (released April 2020)
- Fitbit Versa 3 (released Aug 2020)
- GUESS Men’s Connect Smart Watch
- Amazfit GTS 2 Smartwatch
- Amazfit Verge Smartwatch with Alexa
While Dave Limp might think for Amazon to take the plunge in to a wrist based wearable is too obvious, it also seems like a popular decision and they will be listening with one ear to the ground as to when it’s time.
Wearables continue to improve with faster processors, improved cellular connectivity and increased features. The Apple Watch has proved that with the right processor and a good accelerometer and in-built gyroscope a smart watch can be your wallet, your phone, fitness tracker, music player and your smart assistant. This is powerful and can’t be ignored for long.
One might chose to use wireless earbuds, have Alexa in their car and on their phones but the one ubiquitous device that appeals most for all situations is a watch. Any other device fails to deliver on the list above – especially as a wallet, which would be a solid transition in to a global Amazon wallet.
It’s almost a year since Amazon’s last notable comments on a smartwatch and I predict that 2021 may still not see a branded Amazon watch on the market, but maybe 2022.
In the mean time there are more watches showing up on the market that include Amazon’s Alexa built-in. This means Amazon is handing the user experience of Alexa in smartwatches to third parties. If the experience is good this will make it easier for them to enter the market but if not, they’ll have to do some damage control just as Google has with the disappointing Wear OS.
Endless hours of experimentation, professional work, and personal investment in Home Theatre, Hi-Fi, Smart Home Automation and Headphones have come to this.
Former owner of Headphones Canada, a high-end headphone specialty retailer.