Spectacles 3: Snapchat Unveils Third Generation of Goggles
Snap has unveiled the third generation of its Spectacles goggles which feature two cameras and special 3D effects. The glasses have slick frames made of lightweight and durable stainless-steel material and two dark-tinted lenses which protect the wearer from the sunlight.
The Spectacles 3 goggles come in two color versions. The downside is that they aren’t water resistant like the Spectacles 2 goggles. Snap is promising that the slick new frames will help capture the dimension and depth in the same way our eyes do. The goggles will begin shipping this fall.
The new design is an overhaul over the previous version. Not only are they sleeker in design but they are also more compact compared to the previous version.
The Spectacles 3 have a HD camera which is installed on both sides which is capable of recording 1,642 x 1,642 pixel images as well as 1,216 x 1,216 pixel videos at 60 frames per second (fps).
There are four microphones which enable excellent audio recordings. Both the videos and pictures can be recorded using a button that is located on both sides of the glass frames.
However, these recordings still can’t be automatically uploaded to your own Snapchat account, which would have been an ideal and convenient functionality. This was one of the key weaknesses of the first two Snapchat spectacles and it appears Spectacles 3 users will have to grapple with the same inconvenience. If the Spectacles 3 glasses are connected to your smartphone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, the images and videos captured will have to be manually transferred to the Snapchat app. Only after these images have been exported to the app can they be edited, published or shared.
The high-tech spectacles are Snapchat-specific. You can only use them with the app. When they hit the market in 2016, they proved quite popular with Snapchat users although the hype was short-lived. After the initial hype, the social network’s users stopped purchasing them.
The HD cameras in the latest version of the Spectacles enables users to capture their snaps in 3D and use the 3D effects in the app to transform the snapshots.
If user wants to capture short video using the Spectacles goggles, they’ll either have to tap the button or simply press and hold a still photo. There is an LED indicator that will show both the user and others when this is taking place. The spectacles can also capture audio via its four different microphones which are embedded in the frames of the goggles. All the snaps captured by the spectacles are automatically added to the memory section of the Snapchat app. They are also exportable to the user’s camera role for use elsewhere.
Design-wise, you will love the less clunky build which was a feature in the previous Spectacles designs. The lenses are round and smallish, the acetate are adjustable and the steel frame is boxy and lightweight. The goggles will be available in the mineral and carbon colors or, from the Snap photos, peach and gold colors respectively.
New Augmented Reality Games
The dual camera in Spectacle 3 allows for new 3D and AR special effects. The 3D snaps will have depth impressions along with 3D filters and lenses which add the images and videos to the 3D augmented reality graphics, characters and stickers. Later in the year, developers will be able to program their own effects for Snap’s Spectacles 3.
There is also a 3D viewer that has been made using cardboard just like the Google Cardboard. You can use this with a smartphone display to view images in stereoscopic 3D.
While there aren’t battery life improvements over the previous Spectacles models, the newest version works with two cameras. Users will be able to capture more than 200 photos and 70 videos before they have to recharge the device. It has memory of 4 gigabytes which is sufficient for up to 1200 photos and 100 videos.
The glasses are recharged via an included case. The charging will take 75 minutes. The case can in turn be charged through a USB-C cable. When empty, it can be folded completely.
While the first generation of the Snapchat Spectacles were priced at $100, the Spectacles 3 will retail at $380 which is more expensive than even some of the top of the range designer glasses. The spectacles can be pre-ordered from Spectacles.com. Deliveries will begin from November 2019.
Unlike the previous models, Spectacles 3 will be manufactured in very limited quantities. This is largely due to the huge flop in the previous models where user interested plummeted after the initial hype.
The target group for the new glasses will be the creative types that have fashion awareness. The glasses are targeting the same market as the fashionable data glasses North Focals which puts an emphasis on the social acceptance of high-end augmented reality.
But the Snap design is more radical as it completely does away with augmented reality displays. It’s only a matter of time before we have normal-looking AR-capable spectacles that users will be able to wear normally without looking like walking cyborgs.