Snapchat is gone. But for those keen on using the social app, it hasn’t disappeared completely. Let’s just say they’ve leveled up, in a sort of different manner.
On Friday (September 23, 2016) Snapchat surprised the whole world when they announced in the Wall Street Journal that it had changed its name to Snap Inc. From everyone’s familiar social app, it has now moved up into hardware with its new “Smart Sunglasses” or Spectacles as it is called. It is going to be sold in “limited” numbers for now with an introductory price of $129.
The Snapchat Spectacles work by recording 10-second burst clips of video through a 115-degree angle lens. This makes it closer to the human eye compared to other traditional video cameras. The glasses record the video in a circular field instead of the usual square or rectangle frame. The video can then be wirelessly transferred to your smartphone. From the phone it can thus be shared with friends or through other computers using, you guessed it, Snapchat (see, we told you Snapchat didn’t totally disappear). The video can be played back in either landscape or portrait format, and Snapchat crops the video accordingly.
Video Courtesy of YouTube:
The glasses even come in three color choices: black, teal, and coral. Snapchat actually spent many years developing the glasses, and according to the company’s top brass, this “toy” they created will at first be slowly rolled out so they can observe and figure out if it fits into people’s lives and see how they like it. Although there’s no exact launch date yet, all over the U.S. there are billboards going up advertising the glasses, suggesting that the glasses may be released any time soon.
Using the Spectacles is easy. All you do is to tap the button on the left-hand corner of the sunglasses to begin recording a snap. It will automatically stop recording after 10 seconds. Should you want additional recording time, you can tap again to add another 10 seconds. You’ll know the glasses are recording when the inward-facing light is turned on while you’re “snapping.” There’s also an outward-facing light that shows everyone in your field of vision that you’re recording. All in all you can actually record up to 30 seconds on one single video.
To get the Snaps on a smartphone, all you need is Wi-Fi if you have an Android device, and for iOS devices you only need the phone’s default Bluetooth connection. You also have the choice to transfer the video over Wi-Fi for a higher resolution. If in case you don’t have your phone, the sunglasses are a standalone device so your videos are stored until they’re transferred to the phone.
For battery life, Spectacles can last almost a full day when fully charged. The outward light acts as a battery indicator. Simply double-tap it to see how much power is left. It comes with its own charging case and cable. Although they’re sunglasses, Snap’s Spectacles aren’t like Google glasses. For one, they cost less, and second, they’re not face computers because they’re made to be like a handy GoPro in sunglass form.