North to cease production of Focals and focus on 'sleeker' second generation

The original augmented reality glasses are being replaced in 2020
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Augmented reality startup North is set to cease production of its Focals smartglasses in order to focus on the second generation.

There's not much the company has revealed, in terms of what we can expect from Focals 2.0, but it did confirm that the smartglasses will be 40% lighter and sleeker when they launch in 2020.

Our verdict: We go eyes-on with North's Focals

They'll also feature a higher resolution display, and, judging from the two teaser photos provided, feature a similar rectangular design - just, you know, with thinner arms.

Whether the next generation will prove more successful than the first, though, remains to be seen. We were impressed by the design and capabilities of the originals, but 2019 hasn't been especially kind to North.

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After releasing its glasses in January, it reduced the price from $999 to $599.99 within a month and subsequently laid off around 150 employees of its 400+ workforce (however, it's unclear how many of these were part of the manufacturing team).

It also hasn't revealed how many units it managed to ship, which typically isn't a great sign.

“We decided to lay off a number of employees... in order to focus our resources and ensure we have sufficient runway to execute on our upcoming milestones over the next 18-24 months,” he said in an emailed statement at the time.

One of those milestones, it would seem, is the second edition of Focals. However, the company will also be welcoming an SDK program at some point, too, with more details coming next year.

Until the next announcement, we won't know how greatly Focals 2.0 deviate from the first smartglasses - but those interested in updates can subscribe to North's website.

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Conor Allison

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Conor moved to Wareable Media Group in 2017, initially covering all the latest developments in smartwatches, fitness trackers, and VR. He made a name for himself writing about trying out translation earbuds on a first date and cycling with a wearable airbag, as well as covering the industry’s latest releases.

Following a stint as Reviews Editor at Pocket-lint, Conor returned to Wareable Media Group in 2022 as Editor-at-Large. Conor has become a wearables expert, and helps people get more from their wearable tech, via Wareable's considerable how-to-based guides. 

He has also contributed to British GQ, Wired, Metro, The Independent, and The Mirror. 


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