with a series of AR prototypes in March, Bose said a commercial version of the product would hit the market. Now here it is: Bose Frames, a set of sunglasses with built-in microphones and microphones, will be available in the US for $ 1
99 in January. Pre-orders will start today at bose.com and Bose AR apps will be released next year. (It will be launched in select global markets starting in spring 2019, with $ 199 or $ 270 being paid for $ 199.)
Weighing about 45 grams like your typical sunglasses, Frames are delivered in two versions. Bose says they can stream music and information, answer and make calls, and access virtual assistants, "while keeping playlists, entertainment, and conversation private."
I had the opportunity to test a pair of prototypes earlier this year, and I was generally impressed with the sound quality. They seem to be about the same as the sound of the Apple AirPods, which also has an open, non-noise-isolating design.
In the past, brands like Oakley have released sunglasses that have built-in audio . But these designs have built in clunky earphones and did not sound so good. The "gossamer acoustic package" by Bose Frames is in every arm of the sunglasses. For touch and voice control, a small microphone and multi-function button are integrated in the right temple to allow power and mating, Siri and Google Assistant, calls and commands, and song pause and skip are AR compatible, becoming the first commercial product embedded in Bose's augmented reality platform. Unlike video-based AR platforms, Bose AR delivers audio feedback based on your GPS location and orientation. Use a nine-axis head motion sensor and the GPS from your iOS or Android device.
The battery life is not long. Bose says they can run for up to 3.5 hours of playback at average listening levels and up to 12 hours for standby, and can be fully charged in less than 2 hours with a pogo-pin cable included. A protective cover and a cleaning cloth are included.
Can you add a correction lens to the frames? Unfortunately you can not, said a spokesman for Bose.
Bose says there will be an update to Bose AR on the SXSW 2019 in March, so I suspect that the AR features will be added to the glasses. Initially, you can only stream audio, make calls, and access voice assistants.
Once I have some time with the frames, I will do a more thorough analysis of the audio quality. However, this is an interesting wearable that will have the opportunity in the coming years to shake the audio market. I'm looking forward to checking it out.