Snap Announces New Spectacles with AR Capabilities
Last week, Snap announced new Spectacles that have AR capabilities and which intends to push to eligible creators building AR experiences later this year.
Snap already has three Spectacles branded glasses which have already been shipped to consumers to date. However, the previous Spectacles glasses models didn’t have any form of display system and worked solely as wearable cameras that exported captured clips to the Snapchat app.
The Information first reported on Snap’s plan for a new Spectacles back in March this year although the details only came out last week.
The new Spectacles feature dual waveguide displays and have a diagonal field of view of just 26.3 degrees. They also feature an impressive 2000 nits of brightness as well as an end-to-end latency of under 15 milliseconds ensuring that the virtual objects appear solidly in place.
This field of view is much narrower than that of the Augmented Reality headsets such as the Microsoft HoloLens 2 which has a diagonal field of view of 50 degrees and even with that, they already feel too narrow. However, the 2000 nits Spectacles offers four times the brightness that you would get in the HoloLens 2 and ten times the brightness of the Magic Leap making them suitable for outdoor use.
The Spectacles run on Qualcomm’s XR1 chip with two RGB cameras, one on each side, for spatial tracking of the world and also video capture and hand tracking functionality.
The Spectacles glasses weigh 134 grams which is roughly the weight of three pairs of regular spectacles and have a battery life of just 30 minutes. They feature a touchpad on either side to provide for precise input. They also feature a dedicated scan area as well as clip capture buttons.
The Spectacles is not a general-purpose computer so you can develop apps on them in Unity. However, these glasses directly integrate with the existing AR platform on Snap which already has hundreds of millions of active users. Creators won’t be able to create ‘Lenses’ (augmented reality experiences) for Spectacles or the Snapchat app with the Lens Studio.
The new Spectacles aren’t ready for purchase yet but interested creators can apply for prospective creators on the Snapchat website.