Bose has finally launched their much anticipated augmented audio reality sunglasses, Frames, which combine the protection of premium sunglasses and the functionality of wireless headphones; now available for preorder in the US from US$199.

First seen back in March 2018, while in their development phase, Bose Frames use sound instead of sight to send information to the wearer.

Instead of superimposing objects in your sightline, they provide information through audio via a 9-axis head motion sensor and GPS (from your mobile device).

“Bose Frames are both revolutionary and practical,” said Mehul Trivedi, director of Bose Frames.

“They look and act like classic sunglasses — until you turn them on. And then you’re connected to your phone, contacts, the web, and all its audible content, just like headphones. There’s nothing else like them — they’re a breakthrough you have to see, wear, and hear to believe.”

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Bose Frames are available in two styles — square (Alto) or round (Rondo) — in matte black with tinted UVA/UVB blocking lenses with gold plated steel hinges and charging pins.

Surprisingly, considering the tech and battery involved, the glasses weigh only 45g.

Most of that weight is due to the battery that offers 3.5 hours of audio playback and 12 hours of standby with a recharge time of fewer than two hours.

Frames feature a proprietary open-ear design that streams audio to the wearer’s ear via a wafer-thin acoustic package in the arm of the sunglasses.

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They include an ultra-small microphone and multi-function button on the sunglasses right time for power and pairing — compatible with Siri or Google Assistant — to make calls and give voice commands or to pause or skip songs.

With the open-ear design, this leads to concerns regarding privacy, but how direct the audio is will not be certain until they hit the market.

Bose Frames are the first commercial product that is embedded with the Bose audio augmented reality platform, with Bose AR apps set to become available in 2019.

The glasses are available to pre-order now in the US for $199 and will arrive in Bose stores and select retailers in January 2019, and global markets will follow in later months.

 More information on Bose’s AR platform will be shared at SXSW 2019.

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