it took my friend 10 minutes to realize that the glasses on my face weren’t my usual ones and were actually a pair of the buzziest smart glasses available right now said Ashley Karman from the verge
She also said ”she didn’t figure it out when I somehow knew exactly what the group text we had just received said, even though I didn’t have my phone out. But as we were standing on the J train heading uptown, she asked, “What is that on your face?” She gestured at the tiny laser nearly grazing the top of my right cheekbone.
she has been wearing the North Smart glasses for the past couple of weeks, she went on to say her friend was the first person to call them out, Verge staff did, too, of course, but they’re nerds who keep an eye out for what people are wearing, so she wasn’t surprised. These smart glasses are designed to look like any other pair of glasses. The front resembles generic plastic frames you could find through Zenni Optical or at Warby Parker. The sides are their giveaway, however: they have bulky arms that house a color laser, Bluetooth module, processor, and battery.
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 costs $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 adjusted pricing was a smart decision on North’s part. she polled friends on how much they thought the North Smart Glasses should cost, and all of them thought $500 seemed reasonable. It’s still a lot for something that functionally works the same as a smartwatch, but it’s not unusual to spend that much on pair of standard frames with no smarts. Still, she wishes North’s frames were more interesting. she didn’t enjoy wearing her pair, partially because she care about her appearance and felt lame because of the plain black style.
After a couple of weeks of wearing the glasses, she has found this to be true: they’re easily disguised as real glasses, which is both incredible and alarming if you’re the type of person who shivers at the idea of people keeping their phones at the dinner table. At the same time, the app support isn’t all here yet, particularly for iOS users, so until that improves, we don’t have to worry about people running out to buy these glasses in droves and never knowing if the person we’re talking to is paying attention. As someone who’s made it a goal to stop looking at my phone so much, they helped in that quest, although having notifications in front of a person’s face might not be a good convenience