Amazon isn't just an online retailer...

It is a hardware-maker too. In recent years, it has launched tablets, ereaders, set-top boxes, speakers, and HDMI dongles, and it even dabbled a bit in the smartphone sector with the ill-conceived Fire phone. Despite stumbling a bit along the way, it's apparently now looking at glasses.

According to the US Patent and Trademark Office, Amazon has filed a patent for a pair of augmented reality smart glasses. The glasses connect to a smart device, either wired or wirelessly, in order to superimpose video or images from that device via the display in front of your eyes. But this isn't like a virtual reality headset, such as the Oculus Rift, because the video or images coming from the glasses are transparent.

That means you'll be able to see them and the world around you, making it possible to simultaneously interact with your environment and watch content at the same time. Although this technology sounds a lot like existing AR headsets, such as the Hololens, which is currently in the works at Microsoft, Amazon's patent for its augmented reality smart glasses was originally filed back in September 2013.

These smart glasses would give Amazon a way to pipe even more of its content to consumers. We could imagine them working with its Prime Instant Video service, for instance. But it is hard to tell how well a product like this well do, should it ever come to fruition.

Google's $1,500 Glass headset didn't really take off like everybody thought it would, after all.

Sections Gadgets Amazon