September 20, 2019
Canadian startup North is bringing its smart glasses to a "smart" showroom with its new Focals Showroom app.
The new app lets customers go through the sizing process for Focals smart glasses without having to visit a brick-and-mortar location. North uses the measurements to create its custom devices, with or without prescription lenses. App users can also virtually try on Focals in different colors.
North currently has flagship retail locations in Brooklyn and Toronto, as well as two mobile pop-up showrooms that have been touring major cities since February 2019. The company said the new app brings Focals smart glasses to customers across the U.S. and Canada for the first time, allowing them to experience the devices no matter where they live.
Starting at $599, North's smart glasses feature a transparent, holographic display only visible to the wearer. Focals let users respond to texts, get directions, check the weather, and more.
North isn't alone in its smart glasses ambitions. Google, Microsoft, and Snapchat have all tried their hands at the market. However, North's CEO said Focals has a unique view.
"Others have approached it from this essentially 'How do I put a computer on your face?' perspective," Stephen Lake, CEO and co-founder of North, told Cheddar Friday. "Instead, we've approached it from 'What does it take to build great glasses?'"
"For a long time, people have understood how to build great eyewear products, and we've said 'Let's approach smart glasses from an eyewear first perspective.' And so our products are really designed to be first and foremost a great pair of glasses."
The Focals Showroom app is compatible with iPhone X models or greater.