Introducing at home-sizing via the Focals Showroom app.
By Stephen Lake, co-founder and CEO of North
Back in October, when we launched Focals, we opened with two Flagship Showrooms — one in Toronto and in Brooklyn. Those Showrooms were a big investment for us, introducing smart glasses to the world in a brand new way.
Since opening, those two stores have housed the tech that runs our custom-sizing process (what we call our “sizing rigs” - booths we designed with 11 cameras to complete a 3D scan of each customer for the perfect fit) and have introduced thousands of people to everyday smart glasses for the first time.
A few months after launching those Flagship Showrooms, we took Focals on the road, expanding our footprint further. We rolled out two separate Pop-up Showrooms that could take our sizing rigs and product demos to curious customers around the U.S. and Canada.
Still, even with this mobile tour, it’s been a tough process for our customers to purchase Focals. If you wanted Focals, you had to come to Brooklyn or Toronto — twice — or be in the right place at the right time to drop by a Pop-up Showroom.
Available Everywhere (in North America, at Least!)
With an eye to the future, we’re changing that dynamic. You can now download the Focals Showroom iOS app to take all the necessary measurements to get your own Focals. We do this using the TrueDepth camera and our 3D fitting software (available on the iPhone X or greater).
We’re launching this in the U.S. and Canada to start, with hopes to expand to new countries as soon as we’re ready. With ~100m compatible devices in the market, we’re essentially expanding from four point-of-sale locations to tens of millions.
You’ll also be able to virtually try on Focals in the Showroom app. If you like what you see, you place your purchase right there. A few weeks later we’ll ship your custom-built pair right to your doorstep along with instructions and remote help to make final adjustments to your fit.
A quick note on privacy as well: Our business model is building and selling the world’s best smart glasses. Our business model is not selling data to advertisers. We encrypt any customer information or facial data we collect as part of the sizing process and limit access to it, even internally. If at anytime you want us to delete your data, all you have to do is ask. We’ll do it automatically if you don’t make a purchase in 30 days of your scan.
You’re probably wondering: This is awesome, why didn’t you do this in the first place?
There’s an immense amount of technology involved in getting the fit of Focals just right — both to look great and work properly for you. In order for Focals to look good and work well, we needed to nail a large number of precise measurements. Using our sizing rigs, we were able to learn and iterate on that fit process in a controlled environment.
Our goal with the launch of Focals has been to learn about all parts of the experience in this new category and bring our earliest supporters along on this journey to everyday smart glasses. We’ve released new features and applications nearly weekly based on feedback from our users, and now we’re releasing this new iteration of the sales model for Focals based on what we’ve learned in retail.
The Promise of Everyday Smart Glasses
There’s still a lot of chatter about when smart glasses will “arrive.” We can now say definitively that they’re here.
Focals are worn each and every day by real, regular people around the U.S. and Canada. For many of these early customers, Focals have become their everyday prescription glasses. These are the only pair of smart glasses on the market right now that look near-indistinguishable from regular eyewear, and we’re learning an immense amount about what customers want - and what they don’t want - from a product like this.
As we scale the number of owners with the Focals Showroom app, we’ll understand more than ever about how, when and where people use AR in their daily lives. Not on factory floors, not in basements or living rooms, but in the office, in coffee shops and wherever else they go.
AR everywhere is coming, you just have to know where to look.