I never know what to think about Bose. Its headphones are superb and the mainstay of both the business-class section and the flight deck of most airlines, but some of its products can, I think, be a bit middle of the road. Well, Bose has set out to change all that by setting up a small unit in San Francisco to invent wacky Bose stuff.
First up, these audio sunglasses, Bose Frames, which strike me alternately as sheer genius and the tech equivalent of dad dancing. The speakers are embedded in the glasses’ arms; the sound, ported by Bluetooth from your phone, doesn’t leak too badly because the speakers are positioned carefully to direct sound towards your ears and away from everyone else. The Frames’ arms look a little bloated, but the glasses are light and comfortable. You can use them very effectively for phone calls and, interestingly, for what Bose calls audio augmented reality. Apps on your phone will locate where you are and the direction you are facing and give you, say, some facts about the building you are looking at, or details of the next hole on the golf course you are playing.
The main problem for me is that, while a friendly optician will be able to fit prescription lenses, doing so will invalidate the warranty. Bose says it is on the case and hints that approved prescription lenses will become available, but for now, these sunglasses are for those with 20:20 vision only.