Bose Just Launched Smart Sunglasses With “Audio Augmented Reality”

It's AR via sound instead of sight, plus built-in speakers

December 4, 2018 9:00 am

Usually we wear shades to hide ourselves from the world, but Bose has different plans.

Dubbing them “sunglasses with a soundtrack,” Bose’s new Frames combine the look of premium sunglasses with the performance of wireless headphones and an “audio augmented reality” platform.

Basically, sunglasses with tiny speakers and a built-in microphone and some basic location apps that run on sound, not sight. So, it’s not going to turn you into the Terminator.

Let’s break this down:

The look: Available in two styles — square and angled (Alto), or smaller and rounder (Rondo), these UV-blocking Frames are shatter- and scratch-resistant, with tinted lenses, gold-plated steel hinges and charging pins for your audio/AR needs. Except for the thicker arms, they do look like everyday sunnies … though if you’re more of an aviator fan, these’ll look awfully clunky.

The audio: Paired with your phone, Frames can stream music and playlists (via the arms), take calls and access virtual assistants — all via touch or voice and supposedly in a discreet way through the built-in Bose speakers.

The AR: Using motions sensors and GPS from your smartphone, Frames add layers of audio information your surroundings at the tap of a button — something they’re hoping to fill out via partnerships with Yelp, TripAdvisor and Strava, among others.

Frames feature 3.5 hours of playback and 12 hours of power on standby. Both styles will be available in stores  in January, but you can preorder online now for $200.

Photos: Bose

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