Snapchat's Spectacles -- what we know so far

spectacles snapchat snap

If you were recently lamenting rarely seeing Google Glass around anymore, lament no more. There is a new pair of wearable glasses on the block.

The disappearing message app, Snapchat, has introduced its new glasses, Spectacles, and they are about as different from Google Glass as could be. The new glasses have a singular purpose, and sport an entirely different look from Google's ill-fated wearable. Not to mention they are much more reasonably priced.

In IT Blogwatch, our future's so bright, we gotta wear shades.

So what are Spectacles? Chris Davies has the background:

Snapchat’s...first hardware product...the new Snap Spectacles, [are] a wirelessly-enabled camera built into a pair of sunglasses...Spectacles will be priced at...$129.99; less...than you might pay for...designer sunglasses without a camera built in.
Spectacles are intended for standalone filming. Their battery is good for “a day’s worth of Snaps on a single charge”...and they come with a glasses case that doubles as a mobile power pack; you’ll get about four full charges from it...and...The ring around the camera lights up when you’re recording.

But how exactly do Spectacles work? Sam Machkovech fills us in:

Spectacles...[includes] a 115-degree camera lens, a fisheye rendering effect on any videos taken, and three color options at launch (black, teal, and coral). Tap a button near the hinge...and Spectacles will record exactly 10 seconds of video.
The glasses...contain pronounced bulges on both halves of the frame and an apparently dime-sized circle on each lens' upper, outer corner...we'll have to wait to learn how much on-board memory fills those bulges [and] what resolution the video will be captured in.

Sounds interesting. But how do you get your videos onto your phone? Team Snap tells us themselves:

Spectacles connect directly to Snapchat via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and transfer[s] your Memories directly into the app...Circular video plays full screen on any device, in any orientation...Happy Snapping!

Wait, Team Snap? What's up with that? Josh Levenson explains:

To coincide with the release of its second product, Snapchat Inc. has undergone a major rebranding. From now on, the main body that oversees both Snapchat and Spectacles...will be known as Snap Inc.
The company’s Twitter accounts have...been updated to reflect the change.

Ok, great. But when can we get Spectacles? Matt Swider has the details:

Snapchat Spectacles is slated to become available this's intended for limited distribution.
That likely means Spectacles is being beta both gauge user interest and experiment with launching a hardware product. Snapchat is a software company, and a rather new one at that.

So are users excited? Patrick Wong certainly is:

Can't wait to stand in front of a mirror all day taking selfies wearing @snap @spectacles

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon