Last week I had a chance to experience Smart Glasses for the first time since Google Glass. The company name is called “North” and is headquartered in the Bay Area. They do not have physical stores at the moment but they have been demonstrating their product in pop locations across the country.
I do not recall how I came across the technology when surfing the web but somehow I saw their advertisement and inquired to learn more. As you may figured by now, I’m an inquisitive person when it comes to technology. The advertisement then took me to their site where I could sign up to visit one of the pop locations to actually do a “fitting.” Other than time, I did not have much to lose so I decided to sign up for a Saturday visit at their popup location in Santa Clara.
My experience with the technology was overall OK — it seemed interesting and fairly fluid as I went in with really no expectations. The idea that I could get notifications on my glasses unknown to anyone else seems very attractive and forward-looking. The glasses has a red laser that projects a small image on to the lenses of the glasses which will only be visible to the person who is wearing the glasses. The applications that I viewed included voice-activated Alexa, weather, SMS, and some games that can be controlled by using a ring that you wear on your finger and use like a joystick.
As someone who wears traditional glasses, one will notice that there is a significant difference in weight vs. normal focals. It might be something that you can get use to over time but that really depends on the person. The cost of the glasses is about $599 with an additional cost for prescription lenses. Yes, you read the number correctly…..
I truly believe that the technology is on to something but I am not sure how practical something like this will be now especially with the aforementioned price point. North will have to convince end-users why this is better than using a smart watch which will be far less. Personally, if I am looking for a reason to not look at my smart phone during dinner with family for example, I might just try discipline for now. This is far more inexpensive and more healthy, too.
Michael Campbell is the Founder and CEO of FullEffect International, Inc. and Managing Director of FullEffecting Marketing, a boutique consulting firm that provides small and medium size businesses advising services focused on product marketing, and global business development.