Smartglasses dream of a world where you reach for your phone less. Notifications simply appear in front of you, so you can decide if it’s necessary to disrupt what you are doing and pull out your phone. Yet past attempts have been bulky, awkward, and more annoying than the problem they tried to solve.
North’s Focals, however, are a success. They’re the first smartglasses I want to wear, succeeding where Google Glass faltered. They look great, compared to everything else on the market with similar features, and the software is slick. Like a smartwatch, it serves as an extension of your phone, showing you notifications, the ability to access Alexa and respond to text messages. Imagine doing all that while walking down a busy street in New York, your phone still in your pocket.
Focals look like normal glasses, mostly. That’s an incredible feat. Its closest competitor is the Vuzix Blade, which are bulky, unattractive, and the last thing I want to put on my face. With Focals, I didn’t really mind.
There’s a small projector that juts out of the inner right arm, which is one of the few design features that gives away the tech inside. The projector shoots light onto the lens, which reflect specific wavelengths that allow your eyes to see the software interface.
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