EVERYTHING DO-ER Amazon is gearing up to launch Alexa-powered earbuds in a bid to topple Apple's AirPods, according to Bloomberg.
The as-yet-unnamed earbuds will launch in the second half of the year, according to "people with knowledge of the plans", and while pricing details haven't yet been revealed, they will likely be cheaper than Apple's toothbrush-a-like £159 AirPods.
Though cheaper, the headphones will "look and act similar to AirPods" and will be designed to sit inside users' ears without adopting clips, Bloomberg reports, adding that Amazon is striving for better audio quality than Apple's somewhat-middling earbuds.
The baked-in Ai functionality will work similar to the Siri implementation on AirPods, and will allow users to summon it by barking "Alexa". Once activated, users will be able bark at the digital assistant for access to music, weather information and, of course, to order goods via Amazon.
There will also be physical gesture controls, such as tapping to pick up and end calls and switch between songs.
Bloomberg's report says the earbuds have been tested in black and grey colours and will come in a case that doubles up as a charger.
Such a move would make sense for Amazon, which is already a leader in the AI-fuelled speaker space. According to recent research from CCS Insights, the so-called "hearables" market is expected to grow rapidly over the next few years; the beancounters expect over 23 million ear-worn wearables to will be sold in 2023, up from just six million in 2018. µ
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