Amazon is reportedly preparing to unveil a pair of Alexa-powered wireless earphones to compete with Apple’s AirPods.
Rumours suggest the earphones will able able to track fitness, with a built-in accelerometer for monitoring things like distance run, calories burned and pace of running.
They will need an Apple or Android phone to use them, CNBC reports , as they won’t come with built-in 4G connectivity.
The new earbuds are expected to be priced below £100, undercutting Apple’s Airpods by at least £60.
Amazon is also expected to unveil a lager version of its Echo smart speaker with better sound quality an event in Seattle today.
This is timed to coincide with Amazon’s recent announcement of a new high definition and ultra high definition audio streaming tier to its Amazon Music service.
The company could also announce new products linked to its Fire TV streaming device range, as well as updated versions of its existing Echo smart home devices.
At a similar event last year, Amazon refreshed its Echo line-up with new versions of the popular Echo Dot, Echo Show and Echo Plus smart speakers, as well as an Alexa-powered wall clock and microwave.
The event will be the company’s first major Echo event since a privacy scandal that impacted a number of the biggest names in the tech industry, including Amazon.
In recent months, other firms including Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google have admitted that some audio data gathered from user interactions with their own virtual assistants or other software had been listened to and analysed by human reviewers as part of quality control processes.
Some reviewers who have spoken out claimed they heard private, intimate and illegal conversations during their work, prompting concerns over user privacy.
In response, some firms have paused their use of human staff and third-party reviewers to listen to audio data, while Amazon has confirmed it will let users opt-out of having their audio reviewed by people.