Amazon’s Echo Frames are lenses you wear that have its digital assistant Alexa built-in. They work similarly to an Echo speaker and other Alexa devices. The frames are what the company calls a “Day 1 device” which is a beta-type device. You wear the glasses and have Alexa available to you via open-ear technology. But you need to get your prescription lenses fitted for the frames. Here’s what you need to know.
For more on the frames and what they can do you can read my first impressions of Echo Frames.
Go to Your Eye Doctor
Unlike services like Warby Parker and others, Amazon doesn’t ship its Echo Frames with prescription lenses. After you receive the glasses you need to head to the optometrist’s office.
If you already have a prescription then you typically can have them transfer that into the frames. In my case, they needed to see the glasses first to be sure they could do it. The frame style is fairly popular so there shouldn’t be much of an issue with that. But again, the place where I go had to ship the glasses out for a couple of days to verify they could be fitted.
The glasses contain electronics in the frames including a microphone and four open-ear speakers. It’s important that your optician knows where they can adjust the glasses.
In fact, the frames come with instructions for your optician with a short guide. The only place that can be adjusted is the temple tips. That’s the area where the frames curve around your ears.
Your insurance may or may not cover the ordering and installation of your prescription lenses. It depends on your health insurance plan. So, you might want to take a look at that before getting the Echo Frames. Otherwise, you’ll need to pay out-of-pocket for your lenses.
And the frames are not covered either. Although, some providers allow you to submit an out-of-network claim for frames reimbursement.
Users of Echo Frames are involved too
In addition to taking the Echo Frames in to be fitted, there are a couple of things you as the owner need to know.
It’s important to note that the glasses are not waterproof. The instructions warn not to rinse the glasses under running water. You also shouldn’t wear them out in the rain for the best measures.
Also, any time you take them in to be adjusted, make sure they know that there are electronics in the frames. And that only the ear tips can be adjusted.
The Echo Frames are a first-gen product and, in my opinion, are not yet quite ready for prime time. That’s why the frames are on an invite-only program and sold in limited numbers at the time of this writing. Also, note that the frames currently only work with Android smartphones. They will not work with the iPhone.
The Echo Frames start at $179.99 and if you want to try them out you can get them at Amazon and request your invitation to the program.