Forget Google Glass. How about Snapchat Spectacles?
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Snapchat has developed its first hardware product, a pair of smart glasses that record 10-second bursts of video with just a tap, much like the company’s ephemeral app.
News of a Snapchat gadget made the rounds earlier tonight when an ad for Snapchat Spectacles appeared on YouTube. It quickly disappeared, and the Journal later published an interview with the company’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, about the new device.
Snapchat has not posted anything about it on its own website or app; tonight it simply tweeted the Journal story and a photo of Spiegel wearing the specs.
— Snapchat (@Snapchat) September 24, 2016
Spiegel tells the paper that Spectacles arrive this fall in black, teal or coral for $130. They’ll sync with your device so you can share moments quickly on Snapchat. The idea is that they’ll be “a way of taking photographs that is more natural,” the Journal says, producing pics that are “less like bland camera-phone snippets than like an archive of memories. Or dreams.”
Smart glasses have yet to really take off. Google went back to the drawing board with Glass, and expects to target its second-gen specs at the enterprise. Spectacles at least look a bit more like traditional sunglasses, save for the large camera module, and they’re also a lot cheaper than Google’s $1,500 Glass.
Snapchat on Saturday confirmed that “Spectacles are sunglasses with an integrated video camera that makes it easy to create Memories.”
Spectacles connect via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and transfer Memories into the app via what Snapchat is calling “circular video format.”
“Circular video plays full screen on any device, in any orientation, and captures the human perspective with a 115 degree field of view” the company said in a blog post.
A separate post, meanwhile, announced that Snapchat will now be known as Snap, Inc. “Now that we are developing other products, like Spectacles, we need a name that goes beyond just one product — but doesn’t lose the familiarity and fun of our team and brand.”
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