After testing the waters with a few pop-up stores along the West Coast earlier this year, North is bringing its smartglasses to more cities across the US and Canada.
With a presence at Amazon's re:Mars Conference this week in Las Vegas, North's summer tour started this week Vancouver and will continue on to Seattle, Denver, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Kitchener-Waterloo, and Ottawa throughout June. Parties interested in the smartglasses can book appointments in these cities now through the showrooms page on North's website.
In July, North will visit Los Angeles, Boston, Philadelphia, San Diego, Washington, D.C., Phoenix, Raleigh, and Charlotte. While specific addresses have not been determined for the July leg, shoppers can sign up at the same showrooms page on North's website for notifications.
North's Winter Tour of the Pacific time zone, including pop-up shops at offices of Facebook and Google (wonder if the Glass team took a look?), apparently surpassed the company's sales expectations.
"We were really overwhelmed by and grateful for the amount of support we had on the road from customers, partners, press and, yes, a few curious competitors," said Adam Ketcheson, chief marketing officer of North, in a blog post. "Our initial appointment model underestimated the level of demand we ended up seeing. We were overwhelmed by the amount of interest in Focals and had to find a way to increase our daily appointments to accommodate more people. At every stop along the way, our appointments sold out and even more came for demos as walk-ins, taking a chance, but showing up regardless.
To cover more ground, North built a second mobile showroom. For example, while one showroom is in Seattle from June 8 to 12, its twin mobile showroom will be in Denver from June 10 to 13.
After commencing shipping of Focals, then cutting the price of the product and laying off some employees, North appears to be back on track.
Earlier this month, word leaked that North had closed a $40 million round of funding, with another round of funding and a potential new model reportedly coming later this year.
Moreover, the company has issued weekly software updates to its smartglasses that bring more information and functionality into the field of view of its users. Since March 26, North has added sports updates, sharing functions, and Google Fit integration, among other enhancements.
Between its expanded showroom schedule and the iterative improvements to the product, North may yet capitalize on its potential for bringing augmented reality smartglasses into the mainstream.
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