North Smartglasses Start Shipping To Pre-Order Customers

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The smartglasses company North has begun to ship their new augmented reality glasses to customers who pre-ordered.

North is a somewhat newcomer to the consumer technology world as Focals are the companies first consumer product to be launched.

Focals connect to the user's phone to display text messages, map directions, and other notifications in front of the user's eye. The system also makes use of a small ring worn on the user's finger with a joystick to navigate the glasses user interface without having to reach up and touch the glasses.

Currently, Focals are only available through the companies stores located in Toronto and Brooklyn where if you pre-order the glasses, they will be shipped, and then you will be required to come into the store and get them fit correctly for your head.

This serves as a rather significant hurdle for users not in Toronto or Brooklyn to overcome, but the company has stated they plan on creating favourite stores in major cities across North America.

“Last year we approached the smart glasses category with an entirely new concept: smart glasses that look awesome. It’s been incredible to see how this approach has resonated with our customers, and I’ve personally loved watching everyone share their experiences at our Showrooms,” - Stephen Lake, CEO and co-founder of North.

If your located in Toronto or Brooklyn and are interested in these new augmented reality glasses, you can pre-order a pair now for $1,322 CAD ($999 USD) at the local North store.


My Take

As someone who has been following the development of Focals by North, I'm happy to see they are finally releasing the product to customers, but I'm still not sure how well the company and product will fair in the future.

As I noted in the article above, the fact that prospective buyers have to go to a physical location to buy the glasses is a significant deterrent and will limit their market significantly.

The second big issue I see with Focals is their limited support. They say they work with both Android and iOS, but keep in mind if your an iOS user you will not have access to certain features, especially iMessages on these glasses. Similar to the way smartwatches from other companies besides Apple work with the iPhone right now, iMessages are locked down to only Apple made hardware. So if your an iPhone user like myself and you find yourself continually using iMessage to talk to friends and family, these glasses will not help you read messages without looking at your phone.

I think its still too early to know how well Focals will do in the market, but I'm excited for the company. Not only do they have an exciting product, but as a Canadian company, I'm happy to see them bring innovation up North.

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