North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style

Finally, smart glasses that might actually work!


North originally released the Focals just last month for $999, but it has now shifted its pricing to a model that resembles how glasses are typically charged. The most basic pair, which I tested, now cost $599.99. Prescription lenses cost an extra $200, which you can submit to your insurance for reimbursement; blue light-blocking lenses cost $100; round frames cost $100; and limited edition colors, like tortoise and gradient, also cost $100. You could end up paying $1,000 for the whole package. You can’t buy the glasses online and instead have to go to one of the company’s showrooms in either Toronto, Canada, or Brooklyn, New York, to get fitted.

The glasses’ technology generally works well. They pair over Bluetooth to your phone and act like any other wearable. They show notifications, can call an Uber, and have Alexa built in. They’re controlled through a ring called the Loop, which is both a joystick and a button. The Focals won’t replace your phone, however; they are merely an accessory for it.

(Via NORTH FOCALS GLASSES REVIEW: A $600 SMARTWATCH FOR YOUR FACE.)

Readers of Charles Stross' 2007 novel Halting State will remember the overlay specs:

He passes you a pair of heavy, black-rimmed military spectacles and a ruggedized phone... You put the glasses on and boot them. There's a brief flicker as they check your irises against their preloaded biometrics, then the world outside the BMW is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon...

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