Snapchat's parent company Snap makes a pair of smart glasses you can use to capture snaps.
These glasses, called Snap Spectacles, come with two mini cameras situated on the side of each eyepiece. They can record small bursts of video, from 10 to 30 seconds, which is then uploaded to the Snapchat Memories section of the iPhone or Android app via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, respectively. They can be purchased online in the US or from a vending machine in London for £129.99.
So, now that it's easier to get your hands on a pair of Spectacles, we've decided to round up a selection of tips and tricks to help you get started with them right away. But first, if you want to know more about Snapchat or Spectacles, check out these in-depth guides:
- What's the point of Snapchat and how does it work?
- Snap Spectacles: What are they and how do they work?
Snap Spectacles tips and tricks
You need to pair your Spectacles with your phone. Simply turn on your phone’s Bluetooth, then open the Snapchat app, and go to your Settings (swipe down and then tap the gear icon). From there, scroll down, select Spectacles. Under Pair new device, tap Pair Spectacles. Once paired, choose the name for your Spectacles or just go with the default name. It's up to you.
After that, the Snapchat app will display a QR code. Press the record button on your Spectacles and then look at the QR code for it to scan. Once it finds the code, you'll be all set to begin recording snaps with your new glasses. Your friend can also pair Spectacles with his or her phone and Snapchat account and then they'll be able to capture their own snaps, separate from yours.
To record a snap, tap the 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.
Spectacles record 10-second videos by default, but you can cut the recording time short, with a press-and-hold of the button before the time is up. Alternatively, you can record up to 30 seconds by pressing the button to extend the time to 20 and then 30 seconds. You don't have to wait until the end of the video, though. You can triple-press the button at the start to record a 30-second snap.
You'll notice a blinking circle on the glasses when you press record. (It's a good idea to explain to your friends what it means as a courtesy).
You'll also notice a light on the inside of the Spectacles when you're recording, too. It starts off solid, but then it blinks when you have two seconds of recording time left. This signal is a warning, giving you the chance to extend the recording.
Spectacles work with Android and iOS devices. If you own an Android phone, you'll be able to automatically transfer your snaps over Wi-Fi, but if you have an iPhone, they'll transfer either via a Bluetooth connection or Wi-Fi. Snap Spectacles can store roughly 10 videos until you have access to your phone. To play them back, you need the Snapchat app for Android or iOS.
They’ll be uploaded to Memories (swipe up from the main screen in the Snapchat app). Transferring videos to your phone can be weird. They wont always transfer if your phone’s screen is off or if you haven’t opened the app in awhile. To check the status of your videos, go to Memories, and then you’ll see a progress bar surrounding the story (a collection of the day’s snaps).
In Memories (swipe up from Snapchat app's main screen), you will see a search button in the corner, followed by a menu bar that consists of several tabs: All (your saved snaps), Snaps (your snaps), Stories (your stories), Camera Roll (your phone's camera roll), My Eyes Only (your locked memories), and Specs (snaps taken with your Spectacles).
Videos taken with Spectacles can be found under the Specs tab inside of Snapchat's Memories section, where they’re all grouped by day into a single story. To share an individual video in a story, swipe over to the Specs tab and long press the most recent story. From there, select Edit story, then swipe over to the video clip, and tap on the blue arrow icon in the bottom right corner.
You can choose to share it to My Story (public) or directly with a friend (private) by selecting their boxes on the right. It’s also possible to share every video you’ve shot from throughout the day at once. Just long press the Story inside of Memories, then select the blue arrow icon in the middle of the screen, and choose where you want to send the story.
When viewing a video, you'll see it cropped in either landscape or portrait orientation. Tap on the share button to save it to your Photos app or camera roll. Remember that videos shared outside of Snapchat won't look or work in the same manner. When watching exported snaps, you'll notice a new "circular" format that is meant to display your footage the way the human eye sees.
Get HD video
If you have an iPhone, you won't automatically get HD versions of your snaps. But you can take a couple extra steps to get it: when viewing your recordings in the Snapchat app, tap the Get HD button near the top. When prompted, leave Snapchat and open the Settings app. From there, go to Wi-Fi and tap the Spectacles Wi-Fi network, and then return to the Snapchat app.
For Android users, Snapchat will import HD videos by default.
You can charge your glasses via its case, which is able to hold somewhere around four full charges. It can be topped off using the included USB cable. The cable attaches to the connector on the outside of the case. To see how much of a charge is left in the case, press the button on the side. An LED indicator will show you the remaining charge represented in dots (four of them).
To check the current charge of your glasses, you can either double tap the side and read the LED indicator on the front of the glasses or open the Snapchat app’s Settings menu for an actual percentage.
Spectacles has its own Settings menu, of course. To access it, open the Snapchat app. From Snapchat's main screen, swipe down, then tap the Settings icon, and select Spectacles. You will see options to clear stored videos, view battery, change the name, and more.
If your Spectacles are acting buggy for whatever reason, you can reset them under settings. Open the Snapchat app, then swipe down from Snapchat's main screen, and tap the Settings icon. Then, select Spectacles. You'll see options to restart and reset.
Spectacles can store about 10 videos. If you want to clear the internal memory, there is an option inside the Snapchat app. Open Snapchat, then swipe down from the main screen, and tap the Settings icon. Then, select Spectacles, go to Manage, and tap Clear Spectacles Storage.
You can check for a software update on your Spectacles by opening the Snapchat app, then swiping down, and selecting settings (gear icon). From there, tap Spectacles, go to Manage, and select Check for Updates.
Keep in mind you don't have to wear Spectacles. You can record video while holding them in your hand or after you've put them on a desk. Get creative with them!