This week on Global News Morning I review Bose’s Frame Sungasses, share Google’s crazy phone addiction apps, and mark the official start of production of driverless cars.
It would be a big mistake to dismiss Bose Frames as a novelty or gimmick. Yes, they are sunglasses that act like wireless earbuds with speakers built into the arms. They look stylish, they play music, they can even accept a phone call. I can understand if you suspect that the value is just that combination, the fun of sunglasses that can play music, but the delightful shock I experienced in testing them is that they do, genuinely, sincerely, earnestly work as you’d hope they would and they solve a long-standing problem that some people have with earbuds.
When I introduced earbuds on Canada AM many years ago, Seamus O’Regan told me he couldn’t wear them, something about the shape of his ear canals meant they kept falling out even if he swapped out the earpieces. I’ve since heard from many others with similar concerns and from people who find the pressure of headphones on their ears uncomfortable. Bose Frames is a very, very comfortable solution.
The tiny speakers built into the arms are close enough to your ears that you get the same, all-encompassing audio experience as if you were wearing earbuds and because they are directional and the sound is so well focused towards your ears there’s little leakage for others to hear. Wearing therm, you really have to crank the volume for the people around you to notice. After we shot my report on Global News Morning, this was the first thing our crew asked to try out and for each person it was a case of not believing it until they heard it. Smiles of astonishment all around.
Everything has been thought through. You can pay extra to have prescription lenses, simple controls are mapped to a single button, the USB cable snaps into place magnetically, and in addition to offering different styles, the frames come in different sizes too.
Sensors built into the frames detect your head movement allowing you to adjust the volume by looking from one side to the other, but also when combined with apps can be used in Augmented Reality activities where you can create music, play games, and take part in dramatic stories.
Microsoft’s free Soundscape uses these very sensors to turn Bose Frames into a navigational aid for visually impaired people where the glasses deliver audio cues based on the direction you are looking and moving tied to the GPS information on your phone.
I personally don’t have a problem wearing earbuds, but I find the Bose Frames such a comfortable sensation they are now my go to for when I want to just relax and listen to a podcast or music.