North (Thalmic) confirms pricing and availability for its smart glasses


One month after it was first revealed by BetaKit, Thalmic Labs has officially rebranded to North and announced its smart glasses product, dubbed Focals.

Pre-orders are open now, with Focals Classic frames shipping before the end of the year.

As first reported by BetaKit, the custom-built glasses allow users to see and respond to texts, receive directions, check the weather, request an Uber, and talk to Amazon Alexa. The glasses come in several styles (classic and round) and colours, and come in both prescription and non-prescription versions. As first reported by BetaKit, the glasses are controlled by Loop, a ring that allows users to interact with the glasses.

Focals will cost $1,299 CAD ($999 USD), that price including the smart glasses, Loop, services, charging case, and sun clips. As first reported by BetaKit, two showrooms in Toronto and Brooklyn will open for appointments to custom-build and calibrate the smart glasses to the owner’s face.

“Eyewear is incredibly personal. When you buy glasses you’re weighing a combination of fit and personal expression to find the perfect pair for you. That process is very much at odds with how consumer electronics are built and sold today,” said Stephen Lake, co-founder and CEO of North. “Others have tried and failed to create smart glasses people love because they built a computer to wear on your face and made them glasses as an afterthought. We did it the other way around. We designed Focals to be glasses first and invented new technology that we could conceal inside.”

Thalmic has been quietly working on the smart glasses after raising a mega-round of $158 million CAD in September 2016. Over a week ago, the company ended sales of its Myo band in preparation for Focals’ launch.

Pre-orders are open now, with Focals Classic frames shipping before the end of the year. Orders including round frames will ship in 2019, and prescription lenses will be available to order starting in 2019.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.