The jury is still out on just how useful the recently-released Focals "smart glasses" are, but if you're the kind of person who's wanted to give head-mounted AR a shot, they at least are now a lot cheaper. Focals creator North just announced a big price cut: the glasses now cost $599, down from the $999 the company was originally asking.
Your smartest pair of glasses just got smarter: Prescription lenses are now available for Focals. Now starting at $599 USD. Visit https://t.co/RYPfYEz6Rr to get started 👓#focalsbynorth #smartglasses pic.twitter.com/QeLbqzJtrC
— North (@focalsbynorth) February 14, 2019
Additionally, North says that you can now get Focals with prescription lenses -- so those of us who have to wear glasses every day can get in on the fun. The glasses work by utilizing a tiny projector in the right "arm" that reflects off a lens element that then focuses the image back onto your eye. The end result is that the glasses can project things into the real world without needing a little screen, which adds bulk and -- if Google Glass taught us anything -- looks super strange.
The only downside to this price cut is that those who need prescription lenses will have to pay $200 extra, but that's not unreasonable given how much custom lenses generally cost. If you want to buy them, though, you'll need to visit a North shop. Right now, they're only in Brooklyn and Toronto, but pop-up shops are coming to Seattle and the Bay Area soon. It's clearly still early says for Focals, but them being cheaper and available with prescriptions should help widen their appeal.