North launches app allowing customers to make Focals measurements


Waterloo-based North has launched a new app to help customers get easier access to Focals.

The app allows US and Canada-based customers to get measured for custom-made Focals through their phone, and pick their style and preferred colours. Previously, customers had to go to a Focals showroom to get fitted.

The company partnered with San Francisco-based Standard Cyborg, which allows companies to build 3D scanning and sensing into apps, to power the app’s facial measurements and allow users to “try on” the glasses virtually. The app is available for iPhone X models or greater.

“We recognize our limited footprint represents a major barrier to customers outside of those [physical] locations.”

“Our flagship and pop-up showrooms have been a great opportunity to engage directly with and learn from our earliest customers, but we recognize our limited footprint represents a major barrier to customers outside of those locations,” said Stephen Lake, CEO and co-founder of North. “Today’s announcement unlocks online access for Focals. With this release, we’ll bring everyday smart glasses to customers across the US and Canada.”

North noted that customer information and facial data collected as part of the sizing process is encrypted, and access to the data is limited and deleted within 30 days if a purchase is not made. Customers can request deletion of the information any time.

In September 2018, BetaKit reported that North (formerly Thalmic) would soon be launching smart glasses, which officially launched in October 2018. North opened showrooms in Toronto and Brooklyn in November of that year, and received $24 million from the federal government for advanced testing.

By February 2019, the company dropped the price of Focals from $1,330 CAD to $799 CAD, with prescription glasses costing $200 more. In the same month, North laid off 150 employees, close to a third of the company’s employees. Shortly after the revelation the government suspended its $24 million investment.

North’s Brooklyn and Toronto offices will remain open following this launch.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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