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North's next-generation smart glasses arrive in 2020

It's halting sales of the current Focals in the meantime.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 10, 2019
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North only made its smart glasses widely available in September, but it's already thinking of the future. The Canadian wearable tech maker has revealed that it's releasing its next-gen eyewear, Focals 2.0, sometime in 2020. It's not saying much about what they'll entail besides showing a teaser image (which doesn't add more). However, it is promising that the new glasses will operate at a "completely different level" -- hyperbole aside, they're supposed to reflect a year of learning how to make and sell these devices.

You're out of luck if you don't want to wait that long, though. North is ending sales of the original Focals to concentrate on the sequel. The company will continue to update the first-run model, but newcomers need not apply for a while.

The sales cutoff might make sense given North's current situation. While it stands out as one of the few smart glasses creators devoted to style-conscious mainstream buyers, it hasn't had runaway success. It cut 150 jobs in February to ensure it had enough money to keep development on track for at least another "18-24 months." North's future depends on Focals 2.0, and shifting attention to that product could help it both save money and improve the chances of a hit.

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