North ceases sale of flagship smart glasses to concentrate on ‘Focals 2.0’


The Kitchener-Waterloo-based maker of “the world’s first pair of stylish prescription smart glasses” said it will release new thinner and smarter wares in 2020. (TechCrunch)

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Talking point: Once a darling of the tech sector, seeded with almost $160 million in investment, North has been besieged by middling reviews and reports of slow sales. The company, which halved the cost of the Focals shortly after launch, received a $24 million job-creation loan from the federal government in November 2018—months before it laid off workers at its Waterloo headquarters. (The loan was suspended as a result.) Pulling the glasses will deprive the company’s stores in New York City and Toronto of merchandise and a revenue stream until the release of the next iteration.