News: North Focals Smartglasses Update Adds Google Fit, Google Slides, & a Distraction-Free Mode

North Focals Smartglasses Update Adds Google Fit, Google Slides, & a Distraction-Free Mode

The software updates from Canadian smartglasses startup North keep coming, each with a unique new twist.

In the latest update to the software running on the company's Focals wearables, North has included a functionality facilitated by a mobile device heavyweight: Google.

Version 1.94 of Focals' software brings Activity tracking with Google Fit, an activity tracker app that lives on your iOS or Android device. The Focals update allows you to see your weekly progress and daily activity as calculated by Google Fit directly in your field of view.

Images via Focals

In addition to the new physical health feature, the update also comes with a mental health feature for Android smartphone users. Now, you can monitor your screen time as well as your daily time spent using Focals.

Similar to Apple's Screen Time tool in iOS, the new Focals feature can help you rein yourself in when you think you're possibly spending too much time looking at screens, large and small.

Along those same, distraction-defeating lines, the company has also updated the device with a feature called "conversation detection mode." When that mode is enabled, Focals will use its embedded microphone to check to see if you're speaking or listening to someone else talk and, if the system picks up a conversation, will hold all notifications for later, when you're ready to peruse those notifications in detail.

As for privacy concerns related to allowing your smartglasses to listen in on your conversations, North claims that "your conversations aren't recorded on Focals, so nothing is sent to the cloud or stored on our servers."

Using Focals with Google Slides. Image via Focals

Other recent updates to the device have included Google Slides, a tool that allows a Focals wearer to create a mini teleprompter after installing the Focals Connect Chrome extension.

When this feature is used in conjunction with the Focals ring controller, the set up offers what appears to be a better way of delivering public presentations, freeing you from continually looking down at the presentation on your laptop, keeping your face and eyes locked on the crowd like a true public-speaking wizard.

The rapid pace of updates from North is just one sign of the small startup's ambitions.

Earlier this week, a report surfaced that claims the company just landed an additional $40 million in funding, which should be enough to keep things going as more mainstream users slowly begin to learn about the most fashion-friendly smartglasses on the market today.

Cover image via North

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