A major obstacle to the overall acceptance of Smartglasses is the current inability to turn processors, sensors and batteries into a few frames that look cool. Wearables maker Thalmic suggests that he found out everything.
North is the Thalmic brand for consumer smartglasses, according to reports by Betakit and confirmed by Twitter by one of the company's investors. The company has launched a website that feeds its smartglasses, a form for those who wish to subscribe to product launch alerts, and advertising campaigns in New York and Toronto (Thalmic's home market) that further fuel the interest of the public [19459007
It looks like North's smartglasses look like stylish frames that are sold by retailers like Warby Parker. In the advertising images, however, apart from extra-thick temples, there is nothing to suggest that the frames contain any augmented reality technology, which would be a great advancement for smartglasses. Therefore, the slimmed-down frames can be skeptical of those familiar with the AR wearables space.
All allegations of vaporware, however, could be dispelled by the granting of several patents to Thalmic by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). this week. The patents include a transparent portable display, eyebox extension, two methods for integrated eye tracking, one with laser diodes and another with infrared light.
19659005] The Eyebox patent not only demonstrates how Thalmic's smartglasses work, but also how the company's AR display components work want to bring a slim form factor. The Thalmic method for AR displays uses a holographic combiner embedded in at least one transparent lens (which can be adapted for vision correction presets) to project images into the user's field of view. AR images are generated by a scanning laser projector and reflected by an optical replicator (or mirror) toward the lens.
Most of the projector and replicator components are hidden within the frame, with the part extruded out of the frame positioned near the user's eye socket rather than out of the frame as on Google Glass.
North would actually represent Thalmic's second entry into portable technology. The company's first product was Myo, a bracelet that also serves as a gesture-based controller, and the company's experience with this product can be transferred north. Betakits Sources indicated that user input on the smartglass would be via a connected ring that effectively serves as North's version of a controller.
With Thalmic, who is supported by Amazon's Alexa Fund and currently worth $ 135 million, he is a relative outsider in the United States World of Consumer Glasses Development.
While it would be reasonable to assume that an ad campaign and a website would work meaning that a product launch and more details could be forthcoming, we have the marketing case study from Magic Leap and his years of teasing (and eight months between revelation and market launch ) to keep us realistic, possibly just the beginning of a hypes campaign, with no date on the horizon. Nevertheless, we will continue to look to the north in the meantime.