Snapchat Announces Wireless Camera Sunglasses, Rebrands to Snap Inc.

Snapchat Announces Wireless Camera Sunglasses, Rebrands to Snap Inc.

Snapchat is no more. Long live Snap Inc. Snapchat pulled a double whammy today by announcing both the new name of their company and their first foray in camera hardware with the connected sunglasses they're calling Spectacles.

So, what are Spectacles? Physically, they are large, borderline goofy-looking sunglasses with a small camera built into the frame. The camera sports a 115-degree lens that is intended to give a decent approximation of the standard human field of vision. Spectacles will cost $130, come in one size and three different colors and will be available in limited numbers this fall.

"But what's the point of these Spectacles?" you might ask, and that's a good question. Video is the primary driver behind the creation of Spectacles. Tapping a button on the top left-hand corner starts the camera recording for 10 seconds at a time. You can tap again to add additional recording time, up to 30 seconds in total. You can also press and hold at any time to stop recording. Snaps will store on the glasses until transferred wirelessly to your phone, where they will be available within Memories. Android users will transfer the videos via Wi-Fi, and iOS users will transfer via Bluetooth by default or can import higher resolution snaps via Wi-Fi as well.

Spectacles feature two on-unit lights, one that is outward-facing so that others can see what you are recording and one inward-facing to let the user know when recording is active. Video records in a circle format that actually looks pretty cool and makes sense for a product focused on mobile devices, as you can view it full screen and rotate your device to adjust perspective or view the entire circle to see the full video.

The glasses will come in three different colors: black, teal, and coral, and Snap says that their batteries should last for a day. Each pair of Spectacles comes with a dedicated charging case and cable, and the glasses begin charging as soon as they're placed in the case. A fully charged case will add four additional charges to your Spectacles or roughly a week's worth of usage.

Spectacles are silly, but they also seem rather fun. I don't really like taking my phone out to Snapchat things, but I think some glasses that did it automatically and showed my actual point of view might actually be a product I would use from time to time. While they invoke feelings of the now defunct Google Glass, Spectacles seem far more focused and self-aware, which could lead to their success in the long run.

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I'm so excited to look like a cyborg clown

Ryan Mense's picture

I think we're going to need another hipster review.

Andrew Richardson's picture

My wife told that if I buy these she's leaving me

Henry Louey's picture

I'll be sure to try them out at Spearmint Rhino!

Lauchlan Toal's picture

These would have been a hit 10 years ago. I think they've been made obsolete by cellphone cameras though - we already own cellphones, they already take video that fits the screen (albeit in one orientation), you don't have to wait for wifi/bluetooth to transfer, and a phone won't make you look silly or suspicious for the whole day. It'll be interesting to watch Snap's next moves.

I can't wait to buy my sunglasses for the winter!

I'm going to wear them to the cinema :p

Phil Newton's picture

So is the app'ing?? Or is the app disappearing to make way for gimmicky product endorsements by Insta-famous people? And are the sunglasses actually polarised?? Do they perform the actual protective function of sunglasses, or is this no longer of importance??

Simon Patterson's picture

Brilliant - riding the wave of success of Google Glass. Oh hang on...

So while everyone is getting snarky about the glasses themselves... I'm pondering how something clever like round instead of rectangle sensors could be something exciting to look forward to in the future.

Kyle Medina's picture

Since IG stole the "stories" Snapchat is dead to me, for my personal story.

Spy Black's picture

You'd think they'd given this miserable thing 3D capability, and yet, no...

Andrew Richardson's picture

why? Snapchat has no 3D features that I'm aware of. It would be weird to give their hardware something their platform doesn't support or promote. Plus that would necessitate a second camera and more processing power, so it would be rather antithetical to what they're trying to achieve.

Jayson Carey's picture

Paging Mr. Neistat...