Today, we categorize eyewear into two distinct eras: sight and self-expression. Eyeglasses were invented in Italy sometime between 1268 and 1300. Corrective innovation advanced up until around 1900—including bi-focals and astigmatism. During the early 20th century, access to healthcare and economic growth drove eyewear mainstream. After WWII, fashionable glasses gained popularity during the dawn of pop culture and social identity movements. Fashion has become something more, a distinct relationship between oneself and the world. Classic styles are being reimagined and frames adapt to accentuate new ideologies. Glasses are a wardrobe staple for millions and reveal more about a person than just their style.
Tomorrow is the era of Augmented Reality (AR). In 2013, an early promise of AR smart glasses was presented to the world in the form of Google Glass. A slim, design-forward, head-worn display. But the promise was so big, it ended up being pushed away. A consumer device that didn’t resemble regular eyewear. “Glasses” that were too unfamiliar to bystanders with use cases that were led astray from their original intent. AR is now slowly gaining mainstream popularity through advances in technology, but major hurdles still exist. We at North are tackling form factor first. Smart glasses that look, feel, and function like regular glasses. The proper convergence of sight, self-expression, and augmented reality. We believe we are closer than anyone to this vision of the future.
Smart glasses have the potential to completely revolutionize how we buy, wear, and use glasses. History shows us that glasses, by design, are to correct or protect vision. As the category matures, more devices will enter the market granting consumers options to wear advanced computers as their everyday glasses. Adding more prescription options with Focals 2.0 will narrow the gap between buying normal eyeglasses and a separate digital device. However, for smart glasses to properly deliver on their promise, they also need to reflect personal style.
If the 1970s taught us anything about fashion it's that individuality and personal style are of utmost importance for expressing ourselves. For smart glasses to gain popularity, they must be comfortable, look and feel like regular eyewear, plus deliver a range of aesthetic choices. Glasses need to reflect who we are and perform tasks while blending into the world around us. More style options grant self-expression, and Focals 2.0 pay very close attention to this reality. We have taken lengths to ensure that comfort is equally in-line with style.
AR Smart Glasses
The smart glasses category overall is rapidly growing, and much faster than when we launched Focals 1.0. Devices that integrate headphones, multiple cameras, use assistants, track health, display information, and correct vision are already here. Over time, smart glasses will become commonplace. In terms of style and comfort, there will be no compromise and with availability at your local eyewear provider. The option for style and size selection will be the deciding factor. You’ll be able to order them online, too, much like many direct-to-consumer brands today. The eyewear you wear each day will become a device much like the one in your pocket—but one that does not demand your attention. New ways of seeing your world, accessing information, communicating and ultimately, unlocking your potential through new means of interaction.
The Future of Eyewear is Everyday Smart Glasses
Our world is beautiful, colorful, and inspiring with improved eyesight. We can be more present when technology is invisible. Smart glasses set the stage for a new future and Focals 2.0 are the realization of these three eras in one product. The most advanced smart glasses ever made are coming. Are you ready?