We’ve been waxing lyrical (and significant) about Apple’s Imaginative and prescient Professional right here at TechCrunch this week – however, in fact, there are different issues taking place on this planet of wearable tech as effectively. Sol Reader raised a $5 million seed spherical with a headset that doesn’t promise to do extra. The truth is, it’s making an attempt to just do the alternative: Focus your consideration on simply the ebook at hand. Or ebook on the face, because it have been.
“I’m excited to see Apple’s demonstration of the way forward for common AR/VR for the lots. Nevertheless, even when it’s finally reasonably priced and in a a lot smaller kind issue, we’re nonetheless left with the haunting query: Do I actually need extra time with my good gadgets,” Ben Chelf, CEO at Sol. “At Sol, we’re much less involved with spatial computing or augmented and digital realities and extra eager about how our private gadgets can encourage us to spend our time properly. We’re constructing the Sol Reader particularly for a single essential use case — studying. And whereas Huge Tech certainly will enhance specs and scale back price over time, we are able to now present a time-well-spent possibility at 10% of the price of Apple’s Imaginative and prescient.”
The gadget is straightforward: It slips over your eyes like a pair of glasses and blocks all distractions whereas studying. At the same time as I’m typing that, I’m sensing some unhappiness: I’ve wished this product to exist for a few years – I used to be principally raised by books, and misplaced my skill to concentrate on studying over the previous few years. One thing broke in me through the pandemic – I used to be checking my cellphone each 10 seconds to see what Trump had completed now and the way shut we have been to a COVID-19-powered abyss. Suffice it to say, my psychological well being wasn’t at its most interesting – and I can’t reward the concept of Sol Reader sufficient. The concept of having the ability to set a timer and put a ebook on my face is extraordinarily engaging to me.
The $350 gadget is at present on pre-order, is available in a handful of colours, and accommodates a pair of side-lit e-ink shows, very like the Kindle does. The glasses include a distant (I want my Kindle had a distant!) and a charger. A full battery will get you round 25 hours of studying. That will not sound like quite a bit, however if in case you have a median grownup studying pace of round 200 phrases per minute, you possibly can end the 577,608-word tome Infinite Jest in about 48 hours. Meaning you want at the very least one charging break, however then, in case you are making an attempt to learn Infinite Jest in a single sitting, you’re an even bigger ebook nerd than most.
The product has a diopter adjustment inbuilt, so glasses- and call wearers can use the glasses with out carrying further imaginative and prescient correction (up to a degree – the corporate doesn’t specify the precise adjustment vary). The shows are 1.3-inch e-ink shows with 256×256 per-eye decision. The glasses have 64MB of storage, which ought to maintain loads of books for even the longest of escapist holidays.
The corporate’s $5 million funding spherical was led by Garry Tan (Initialized, Y-Combinator) and closed a couple of yr in the past. At present, the corporate is transport the ‘superior copy’ (learn: personal beta) of the glasses to a small variety of early entry testers. The corporate is tight-lipped on when its full manufacturing batches will begin transport, and clients are at present suggested to affix the ready listing in the event that they need to get their mittens on a pair of Sols.
The reader in me desires these items actually badly. My interior CFO is swearing his little coronary heart out on the thought of spending $350 on a pair of studying glasses (pun kind of supposed). And the environmentalist in me is curious whether or not a single-use gadget just for studying is an inexpensive use of the planet’s sources after I have already got a VR headset, a cellphone, a kindle, and a shelf filled with books I’ve but to learn.