Snapchat now sells its own Google Glass-style pair of sunglasses.
They're a bit more basic than Google's defunct headset or other augmented-reality devices, but they're certainly striking. The idea is you use them in order to capture your adventures while on the go. A bit like a GoPro, but for your face.
Intrigued? Here's everything you need to know about Snapchat's first big dive into hardware.
What are Snapchat Spectacles?
In October 2016, Snapchat announced a pair of connected sunglasses called Snapchat Spectacles. They can record video snippets that automatically save to your Snapchat Memories, a feature in Snapchat that stores all your saved snaps, stories and locked content. The sunglasses feature a camera with a 115-degree lens, which is designed to mimic how humans actually see.
How do Snapchat Spectacles work?
According to Snapchat, its Spectacles are easy to use.
To record a snap (picture or video), you'll tap a button the top left-hand corner of the glasses. It will automatically stop recording after 10 seconds, but you can tap again to add another 10-second increment (you can record up to 30 seconds at a time). You'll see a inward-facing light when you're snapping, while an outward facing-light to show others when you're recording and they're in your field of view.
Snapchat Spectacles work with Android and iOS devices. If you own an Android phone, you can transfer your snaps over Wi-Fi, but if you have an iPhone, they'll transfer either via the sunglasses' Bluetooth connection or Wi-Fi. Keep in mind you can use the sunglasses as a standalone device (they'll store up to 200 snaps until you have access to your phone). To play back your snaps, you'll need to use the Snapchat app for Android or iOS.
When watching your snaps recorded with Snapchat Sunglasses, you'll notice a new "circular" format that is meant to display your footage the way the human eye sees, though you'll watch them cropped in either landscape or portrait orientations.
The specs are not waterproof though, so you'll need to be careful at the beach, for example.
How long will Snapchat Spectacles' battery last?
Snapchat Spectacles' batteries will last about a day, and the outward-facing light on the sunglasses will serve as a battery indicator. Double tap and you can see how much life they have left. To charge the Spectacles, simply use the charging case and cable that it comes with (the case can actually charge them up to four times before needing to be recharged itself).
How much do Snapchat Spectacles cost?
The glasses cost $129.99 (roughly £105), come in one size, and are available in three colours: black, teal (red) and coral (blue).
When will Snapchat Spectacles be available?
Snapchat has put its Spectacles on sale on its dedicated website, but to US customers only at present. There is no indication as yet if they will be available elsewhere. It previously sold the Specs through Snapbots - pop up shops around the States. But as they are now on sale online, that scheme has closed.
Is this Snapchat's first hardware product?
Not technically. The company has developed merchandise in the past, such as a plushie, deck of cards, backpack, ice cube tray, and more.
What is Snapchat (and Snap)?
Snapchat began in 2011. It's a popular photo-sharing app that allows you to send pictures and videos - both of which will self destruct after a few seconds of a person viewing them - to friends. Snapchat is also a fun messaging app. When you take a picture or video with the app, you can add a caption or doodle or lens over top, and then send the finished result to a friend along with a chat message.
Alternatively, you can add it to your "story", a 24-hour collection of your photos and videos (also called snaps), which you broadcast to the world or just your followers. Snapchatters were sending about 700 million snaps a day as of May 2014.
In October 2016, Snapchat announced that its company would now be known as Snap. It also described Snap as a "camera company" rather than a mobile app developer. In a blog post, Evan Spiegel, Snapchat's CEO and cofounder, said Snapchat is evolving into Snap because Snap offers more than just Snapchat (ie, Snapchat Spectacles), and it wanted to better distinguish product information from company information.
In other words, Snapchat the mobile app will remain Snapchat, while Snapchat the company will be called Snap going forward.
Want to know more?
Check out Pocket-lint's Snapchat hub for related news.