Next Versions of North Focals Look Even More Like Normal Glasses
CNET staff writer Scott Stein got a closer look at the North Focals 2.0 during the CES 2020 and contends that these smart glasses are the closest to regular glasses that he has ever seen. For the development of Focals 2.0, North is relying on a new display technology among other things.
In an article published today, Scott contends that the next-generation North Focals smart glasses “looked almost” like his own regular pair of glasses. During the CES, the Focals 2.0 were in a kind of stealth mode so most visitors must have missed on trying out the next versions. The Focals 2.0 are coming following the company’s discontinuation of its original smart glasses which was done to pave way for the new model. The new ones are a lot thinner and also look more normal.
The North Focals should also work with prescription glasses according to North executives. The old North Focals hardware projected directly onto the lens through a mini projector placed off on the side. The new hardware for the 2.0, on the other hand, has the projector built right into the lens. The shimmery waveguide on the lens that also helps in projecting the single display is also bigger in the new Focals. It looks more like a phone-sized screen in the air, close to the wearer’s right eye. In the final version, North is set on making this iridescent lens patch invisible. The Focals 2.0 new display always stayed on unlike that of the original Focals display which only showed up when the wearer looked directly forward.
In December 2019, North announced the improved version of its Focals smartphone-based smart glasses and it was ceasing the production of the first Focals model. The first Focals gave very positive tests. The glasses, for instance, displayed navigation information as well as messages directly in the user’s field of vision. This allowed the smartphone to remain in the user’s pocket as they used the smart glasses.
For the Focals 2.0, one of the most important changes will be its more enhanced subtle look along with the significant improvements in the display.
Scott Stein managed to test the Focals 2,.0 smart glasses behind the scenes during the CES 2020. Stein writes that the new Focals 2.0 have a display and a waveguide which is now directly embedded in the glasses of the smart glasses. The display is no longer projected on a mini-projector positioned on the temple of the glasses. The glasses also support corrective lenses for short-sighted users.
According to Stein, the Focals glasses now deliver larger images, which is roughly the size of a smartphone screen and which hovers close to the right eye. This display is now constantly visible and no longer appears only when the wearer looks straight ahead.
The frontal view of the Focals 2.0 smart glasses is currently indistinguishable from that of conventional glasses. The temple of the Focals 2.0 glasses is, however, still a little thicker. But the Focals 2.0 are a significant improvement over the first Focals model.
Controlling the Focals 2.0 glasses should be similarly based on the familiar ring-worn system that was used in the first Focals model.
The glasses provide an easy range of prescriptions that easily accommodate those with poor vision.
The Focals 2.0 smart glasses do not allow a full world-scanning or 3D mixed reality promised by Nreal, Qualcomm and other players. The paths of these players is bound to intersect at some point. Eventually, all these players will be making smaller and more glasses-like models that look just like your ordinary everyday glasses.
The new Focals 2.0 have received mostly positive reviews for their significantly higher resolutions which has now improved by a factor of 7.5 according to North. The images are now brighter and with a higher contrast and less blur.
The form factor of the Focals 2.0 are also impressive. You will have to look at them very closely to determine that these are smart glasses. The new Focals are significantly lighter and thinner than the first model. The Focals 2.0 represent what Google would have wished to achieve with Glass.
Thanks to the improvements in the display technology, the new Focals no longer have to be adjusted exactly for every face. Owners can therefore pass on these glasses without the need for a recalibration. The glasses are bound to impress many potential buyers.
It is not yet clear when the Focals 2.0 will be launched and what they will cost.