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Bringing the Consumer to the Future: An Interview with Solos

Soundskrit sat down with Kenny Cheung, President and Co-Founder of Solos Smartglasses, to discuss how Solos's innovative AR glasses are exactly what the consumer wants.

Bringing the Consumer to the Future: An Interview with Solos

By Bradley Diamond

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality stands to totally alter the way that we interact with the world by making information more and more accessible on the go, yet it is hampered by challenges that threaten widespread adoption.

When people think of augmented reality, they imagine a future they can never truly be a part of. They picture bulky headwear, confusing displays on phones, or straight up science fiction. Augmented reality feels forever out of reach.

Past attempts at augmented reality never progressed beyond being gimmicky, clunky messes. Or they failed spectacularly when attempting mass adoption.

The core issue negatively impacting adoption of augmented reality is not a lack of interest. We have been talking about the idea of augmented reality for hundreds of years, and augmented reality was first experimented with back in the 1960s. Science fiction continues to show augmented reality in a positive light.

Why has augmented reality never taken off?

The reason is simple: augmented reality has never been cool. Typically, AR glasses have been bulky, awkward, and unwieldy, which make them a nightmare to wear in public. A truly functional pair of augmented reality glasses makes the consumer stand out in an uncomfortable and embarrassing way. But that is no longer the case.

Solos, a Boston based smart glasses company, is transforming the augmented reality market through fantastic smart glasses with no loss of style. These smart glasses are customizable and personable to the user, letting everyone experience the technology in a way that resonates with their personal style, whether they prefer to blend in or stand out. This design philosophy is motivated by their driving desire: to build smart glasses that put the consumer first.

When augmented reality was first being designed, companies focused on what features they could add to their glasses. Solos decided that what a consumer will really want is something designed for them, not something designed for the features. That is why Solos Smart Glasses focus their design on comfort and style, so the consumer will always be happy. Through their focus on audio functionality, Solos delivers on a truly beneficial augmented reality experience.

Solos Smartglasses

Solos was born out of Kopin Corporation, an electronics manufacturer best known for their display devices for mobile electronics. Seeing that smart glasses were clunky and inelegant creations, Solos was created with one express goal: to create smart glasses that suit a consumer. To that end, Solos keeps the consumer foremost in mind with their glasses.

Kenny Cheung, the president and co-founder of Solos, describes Solos’s mission as one anchored in the consumer. To Kenny, even from day one, the focus has been on the consumer. Kenny discusses their design philosophy in the following clip:

Other smart glasses have failed because they put their own aspirations ahead of the consumer. Solos builds what the consumer wants.

Glasses Built for the Consumer

Solos builds a cool and comfortable pair of Smart Glasses, without sacrificing anything in how their features work. These are not gimmick glasses, kept around to show off to friends. These are functioning smart glasses, that add value beyond the coolness of their concept.

With Solos’s patented Whisper Audio Technology, their smart glasses maintain excellent audio quality, improving speech recognition and voice communication. Using AI voice algorithms and beamforming, Solos microphones can pickup the user, even in a loud and chaotic environment. Solos Smart glasses feel truly smart, as virtual assistants can be accessed with a single word.

A woman trying out her new Solos Smartglasses.

Solos is aiming to readjust how we interact with our technology, by creating a product that truly fits people. With a directional speaker system that keeps the sound up for the wearer but down for everyone else, these glasses can function as a pair of earbuds, allowing wearers to enjoy their music without the annoyance of a poor fitting earbud. When used to play music or take calls, the audio is directionally played to your ears, meaning you hear with no issue while even someone next to you won’t hear more than a murmur at best.

Their commitment to improving our lives doesn’t end there. Have bad posture? These smart glasses constantly monitor your posture and use a beeping noise to alert you when you’ve spent too much time craning your neck down at your phone. Their complementary app allows you to see your health statistics over time, giving you a full picture of your health.

In its simple design, Solos create a uniquely personal product. The simplicity of the glasses means a consumer can customize their pair to their heart’s content, freely swapping frames between the Xeon, Argon, and Neon Collections, without having to replace the electronics. No matter what occasion, you can feel comfortable knowing your Solos glasses will fit in.

Above all else, Solos has kept their glasses accessible and functional. The controls of the glasses are simple haptic gestures, ranging from a swipe to a double tap. But the highlight of their functionality comes from their audio interactions.

Audio Focused

Solos focuses their design on the audio capabilities of the glasses. The glasses become a functioning pair of earphones, a reliable cell phone, and a health reminder, all through the power of audio.

It is through their focus on audio that Solos is able to make such effective AR glasses. Solos’s Smart Glasses are functional without losing any of their coolness, because focusing on audio allowed Solos to establish most of their functions through audio. While other smart glasses need bulky or inelegant controls to function, Solos allows its consumers to use their voice.

As it is right now, audio is the best place for augmented reality glasses to focus on. A heads up display, projecting information directly into the field of view of the user, sounds cool, but in reality would add unwieldy bulk to the glasses. Furthermore, they would ruin the cool factor of the glasses, taking something that is indistinguishable from a regular pair of glasses and making them stand out. Eventually, a heads up display will become possible, and will be a boon to augmented reality glasses. But for the world we live in, audio brings possibility to augmented reality glasses.

Audio keeps these glasses functional and cool. It gives the consumer the advancement in technology they want, without adding any negatives. Audio unifies what the consumer wants and what the technology can do.

With tons of different styles, Solos's augmented reality glasses are perfect for everyone.

Without the focus on audio, these glasses become a gimmick. By picking what they want to do and doing it well, Solos created the first truly usable smart glasses. Audio becomes the building block for future improvements to augmented reality glasses.

Glasses for the Future

The way our world works is constantly changing. It seems that every year, there is a new big thing that transforms our lives. Sometimes, these changes can be hard to hold onto.

That is what makes Solos so special. They are changing the world, but changing it with the consumer in mind. In designing their glasses to fit consumer needs without adding complicated features, Solos is giving their customers the chance to take more control of their lives, through an easy to use and helpful product.

All technology should be striving towards making the world an easier and more comfortable place for all of us. With Solos Smart Glasses, that world is a step closer.

For more information on how Solos can improve your life, check out their website here.

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