WatchIf Im going to wear a computer on my face it needs

For starters, the Focals need to be made-to-measure and precisely fitted, so customers have to go into a little pod with an array of cameras that create a 3D model of your head. This is so that a laser beam mounted on the arm of the glasses can beam an image at a specific spot on the glass, so it’s reflected back to your eye.James McLeod gets instructions on how to use the Focals. What would make you want to wear a computer on your face?This is, fundamentally, the question that hangs over Focals, a set of smart glasses made by Waterloo, Ont.-based startup North Inc.I don’t have an answer to that question, but I can tell you what would make you hate the computer on your face, after trying a pair of Focals for a couple of weeks.I was just sitting down at my desk one day after grabbing a coffee from the McDonald’s in the Postmedia building, when the notification popped into my field of view, in glowing rainbow letters projected mere centimetres from my eyeball.“Try the Bacon and Cheese Third Pounder!!!!!”Tech reporter James McLeod found a few glitches with Focals. Financial Post Financial Post This wasn’t an ad.From what I can tell, it appears to be a review that somebody wrote in 2013 for that particular McDonald’s location, and by some convoluted quirk of technology, six years later, it wound up as a notification on the lens of my smart glasses.This sort of thing happened to me a few times while I was testing my Focals — random notifications shot out of a class 1 laser, reflected off the lens of the glasses and into my eyeballs.A major selling point of these glasses was supposed to be the idea that they dispense with digital clutter and allow users to leave their phone in their pocket more. 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Prescription lenses still cost extra.Also in February, the company laid off about 150 workers according to a report by The Verge.Lots of companies are trying to put a computer screen right in front of your eyes these days: Microsoft Corp.’s Hololens and the Magic Leap augmented reality headset come to mind, as examples of augmented reality gear.Google LLC tried something similar back in 2013, but the product was a flop.The Focals are going a different way, offering a stylish pair of glasses that just happens to also have a computer inside it. But they have an uphill battle ahead of them if they’re going to be a success.It’s also annoying to have to wear a ring on your finger with a little joystick-button thingy to control the glasses If the fit is off by even a few millimetres, the laser seemingly won’t line up right, and this was a problem for me, because the headphones I wear while I’m commuting squeezed against the arms of the glasses and slightly changed the fit, so the display was blurry or I just couldn’t see it at all.It’s also annoying to have to wear a ring on your finger with a little joystick-button thingy to control the glasses.There’s also the simple fact that I don’t need glasses. My eyesight is fine, so the only reason to wear slightly heavy, bulky glasses is for the sake of the display on the lens.I also have complaints about the Focals software, which can be a little bit janky, even setting aside the random invocations to buy a bacon cheeseburger. There’s no app store, so for now you’re stuck with the functionality that North has loaded onto the glasses, or new features that it builds out later.You can send and receive text messages, and check your calendar. You can check sports scores. The glasses work with Amazon Alexa. You can use a locations function to order an Uber or get turn-by-turn directions if you’re walking somewhere. (For the love of god, don’t use these things while driving.)You can check your email, although I could only get the glasses to play nicely with my personal Gmail account. The glasses can also be used to control Spotify playback, which was extremely useful when I wanted to skip ahead a track, or pause playback just with a quick gesture of my thumb on the control ring.I spoke to North’s Lake about my experience, and he told me that the product is nowhere near perfect yet, and they’re relying on feedback from the earliest adopters to improve.“The analogy is like, think of the early days of computing with the Apple I or the Apple II or the Macintosh. We’re at that generation of this category. This isn’t the 25th generation iMac with Retina display yet,” he said.“This is the absolute first generation new product, and it’s definitely early.”But North will need to walk such a delicate line — building useful features without overwhelming the user — that it made me wonder if this whole effort is a dead end.It’s been 12 years since Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPhone, ushering in an era where everyone has a computer in their pocket. Now that smartphones are ubiquitous, it feels like companies are casting about, trying to find the next place to put a computer.Apple Inc. is now also selling us a computer for your wrist in the Apple Watch.Google and Inc. are trying to put computers in your fridge, your microwave, your clock, the locks on your doors and your light bulbs, and you control it all using a smart speaker with Alexa or Google Assistant.North is trying to put a computer on your face, just a few centimetres from your eyes.After my Focals trial, I started imagining what I’d need to be convinced to wear a computer on my face, if it wasn’t my job.If the laser display was more forgiving.If I had to wear glasses anyway.If they didn’t cost too much.If the features worked with all the digital services I use already, but also the software was designed to be tastefully unobtrusive.If they were perfect in every way, maybe, just maybe, I could imagine wearing a computer on my face. Until then, I’m skeptical.• Email: [email protected] | Twitter: