The race for smart glasses is gaining traction among the tech giants once again. Even Indian telecom company released a smart glass called Jio Glass this month in their AGM. Meanwhile, in North America, a Canadian startup has decided to stop support for their products. North Smart Glasses – Focals, are no longer going to work from July 31, 2020.
North smart glasses are one of the prominent competitors from the high-tech eyewear market. The two products by the company – Focals 1.0 and Focals 2.0 have been in the market for a couple of years.
North Smart Glasses: Ceasing the Operation
North, a Canadian smart eyewear startup, was founded in 2012 as Thalmic Labs. Later it was rebranded as North in 2018 to compete in the tight market. The company has received a funding of over $170M from Amazon and Intel.
Thalmic Labs has created Myo Wearable. Recently, the company announced on Twitter and its website that Google has acquired them on June 30.
Today we’re excited to announce our acquisition by @Google. By combining the talents of North and Google, we’re going to continue making the impossible possible right here in Kitchener-Waterloo. Learn more at https://t.co/7kCQDU39IJ pic.twitter.com/89rs398Y6n
— North (@focalsbynorth) June 30, 2020
The company is confident that this acquisition will allow them to push their projects in the right direction in the future.
Alexa supports the Focals glasses! (No surprise, since Amazon invested in it), have been discontinued from the end of this month. Focals allow you to do simple tasks like checking the weather and directions on the map.
The company has two showrooms – one in Toronto and other in Brooklyn. When the North smart glasses were out for sale, Verge hilariously reviewed it, saying it’s like wearing “a $600 smartwatch to your face.”
North Smart Glasses: Winding Down the Products
The company has announced that they are winding down Focals 1.0 and 2.0 from July 31. They are not shipping 2.0 and removing the support for 1.0 from all ends.
North sent an email to customers announcing the closure of the glasses. It also posted a statement on their website. Apple App Store and Google Play Store won’t be hosting the main app that gives software support to the Focals.
However, the good news is that the customers who have paid for the glasses will be getting “full refund” from North. You can no longer access the North account post-July.
If you are worried about your personal data, you can erase it by factory resetting the Focals app. If not that, you can also contact the company to delete the data.
The race for high-tech eyewear has been around since the 2010s. However, we are yet to see the widespread use of smart glasses. Do you think that Google’s acquisition of North was to compete against e-commerce giant Amazon? Since the Focals have integrated support to Alexa. Do you think this is the end of the North?
With Facebook’s investment in Oculus VR, and other rivals like Snap Spectacles, Amazon’s Echo Frames and Google’s very own Glass, the market is full of competition.
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