A few years back Google unveiled Google Glass, a connected wearable that goes over the user’s eye and gives them information on the go. Unfortunately, due to many factors which likely included the very high price tag, limited uses, and unusual look of Google Glass, the world wasn’t ready for the product, and it never really took off. Now, there’s a new set of connected glasses entering the scene – Snapchat’s “Spectacles”.
While Spectacles are worn in the same way as Google Glass, this is where the similarities stop. The glasses, which have tinted lenses to keep the sun out of your eyes, are designed primarily around entertainment, and look much more like actual sunglasses. They also come in three colors, black, teal, and coral. They are not designed to be all-purpose smart glasses, but rather have one specific function: recording Snaps that can easily be sent to the user’s smartphone and shared via Snapchat. To start recording, the user will simply press the button located at the top left corner, which will initiate a 10-second recording. Tapping it again will add another 10 seconds, up to 30 seconds at a time. Android users will have to transfer videos to their devices over Wi-Fi, and iOS users have the option to transfer via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, with the former maintaining a higher level of quality. If you don’t have your phone nearby and want to record, you can, as the glasses will store the recordings internally until you are able to transfer them. To let users (and those around them) know that the Spectacles are recording, both an inward-facing light and an outward-facing light will illuminate. The outer light will also serve as a battery indicator when double-tapped, letting users know how much battery life they have left before they will need to recharge. To charge the battery, the glasses can be placed in their included charging case, which will provide up to four more charges.
As far as the recordings, Spectacles will use quite an unusual format. Recordings will use a unique 115-degree camera which is meant to mimic human vision, the resolution of which is not yet known, and videos will be saved in a circular format. This may present some difficulty when recording, as the wearer will have to keep in mind that their circular recordings will be cropped when played back, and the cropping will depend on whether the viewer is watching them in landscape or portrait mode. At this time, a release date has not been announced, but it is known that Spectacles will debut at a price of $130, and will only be available in limited quantities.