Snapchat is going through a period of change, first, it has shortened its name to Snap Inc. and now it’s released its first retail product, Spectacles.
The name change is because of the new product, until the new glasses, Snapchat’s only product was the ubiquitous app for smartphones. The app will still be called Snapchat, it’s just the company name that’s changed.
Immediately following the announcement of the name change, Snap Inc revealed its first ever retail product, Spectacles.
They’re exactly what the name suggest, a pair of glasses that you wear on your face. But these spectacles have cameras built in to record 10-second snaps on-the-go. To record a snap all you need to do is tap in the top left corner, and you can tap a couple more times to record up to 30 seconds of continuous footage.
A light on the inside of the glasses lets you know you’re recording while a light on the other side lets oncomers know you’re recording them too.
Recorded footage gets sent to your smartphone: via wi-fi for Android devices and Bluetooth for iOS. High-quality footage can be sent to iOS devices via wi-fi, and is played back in the Memories section of the Snapchat app. You don’t need your phone nearby to record footage, as the glasses have built-in storage for holding it until you’re ready to transfer.
What sets Spectacles’ footage apart from the video you can simply record from your smartphone is that Spectacles record in a new circular format with a 115-degree field of vision, which can viewed back in any orientation.
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Spectacles come in three colours and we have to say, we’re not sure just how many people would be happy to be seen wearing them down the high street. Although from the promotional video they look ideal for wearing skateboarding some friends.Fortunately, Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel is quite laid-back about them too, saying they’ve been designed to be a “toy” and to try and persuade people to use something other than their phone to record moments. He thinks using a phone can likened to having a “wall in front of your face”.
Snap Inc.’s Spectacles will initiially have a limited launch in the US later in the autumn for $129.99 and will come supplied with a carry case which doubles as a charger. You’ll need to pop the glasses in the case each night as the built-in battery lasts around a day.