Smart glasses seem like the next big leap while we’re all becoming more content with our smart watches. Pocketables has been fortunate enough to get time to examine a preproduction unit of Solos smart glasses. These are target at fitness and sports enthuisaists with an emphasis on cycling and running. Although not shipping today Solos were on display and used at the Sea Otter Classic earlier this week.
Although our unit is officlaly preproduction you can see that it’s fully retail ready.
Opening the package we see a premium design on the glasses with several options for lenses. Also included are a soft case for the lenses not in use as well as earbuds and a charging cable. There’s also an included microfiber cleaning cloth which as you can see will come in handy as these quickly attract dust.
Looking at the design more closely we see quite a bit of attention to detail as well as a few comprises that are unfortunate but unsurprising on the Solos. Like many things we’ve seen called Smart glasses to date the solos use a prism attached to a small computer. Unfortunately this is designed for right eye only. It is possible that with sufficient demand we’ll see ambidextrous smart glasses or models available as either or but that’s not something currently available. The frame itself is a mostly rigged plastic with just enough give to change between the day and night lenses. Hopefully someone releases a carrying case to protect them in the near future as their lack of folding ability would make them easily damaged if tossed in with other fitness gear. A speaker is located in each side providing stereo sound in addition to the included earbuds. The prism itself both slides(side to side) and can be moved up and down on it’s arm which pivots allowing you to correct it’s viewing angle during use.
The companion app
The companion app(also named solos) for the smart glasses seems well designed albiet with a narrower focus than I expected. This app is about fitness and little else. All the fitness features one would expect are there however including some bonus features for those with wear 2.0 devices. ANT+ allows the solos app to coordinate with a variety of sensors for health and fitness and overall setup was smooth. The only oddity I ran into during setup was a requirement that weight be entered in KG, not that I mind the math but for a US company I expected the option of pounds before I finished setup(although there’s an option in settings).
Putting the Smart Glasses on
The Smart glasses fit comfortably although some with large frame glasses could run into issues. Presumably the included “demo” clear lenses which can be secured inside the frame are to demonstrate the option for purpose built prescription lenses. Setting up the prisim is a little awkward at first but after a few seconds it’s fairly easy to get the hang of, the hardest part being fighting the urge to turn your head to bring them back into focus. Bluetooth connectivity is excellent with no drop outs I ran into in a preliminary fitting and sound through the speakers and earbuds is loud and clear although I haven’t tried any voice commands yet. I haven’t experienced any eye fatigue from them with about 20 minutes just poking through screens seeing what’s what although as with all VR/AR YMMV. My biggest letdown is the limitation in what information comes through the prism. With a use case for the solos highlighting cycling I had anticipated some apps(like google maps) would pass through visual navigation data to the hud. As it stands fitness data scrolls through including time distance speeds and such but nothing form a third party. Navigation did work using the built in speakers and headphones however.
I’m going to need to pick up some ANT+ equipped sensors to really put these through their paces. However prior to doing that the solos are an exciting looking product for the fitness focused and cyclists in particular. I can’t wait to see how their software evolves further as they approach their final ship date. Solos are available for preorder for 499 and an anticipated shipping date of may 7th.