- By Steve Smith
- December 23, 2021
Snapchat spectacles AR: Snapchat announces augmented reality (AR) spectacles that allow content creators to put their digital efforts into the world around them.
In this case, AR is a blend of computer graphics, such as 3D models, overlaid on the real world.
But the new version of Snapchat spectacles AR wouldn’t be available to just anyone. Instead, this product will be offered to a “select group of global creators” in the AR field.
Snapchat has built its prestige in AR “lenses” on phones, which overlay art on a user taking a selfie, or distort the live image in many different ways.
This innovative new spectacle evolves from that idea, letting lens creators project their creations onto the world around them. Spectacles prior to this were focused on cameras for capturing content – the latest Snapchat spectacles AR has an innovative AR display.
The exhibited company’s models include a digital projection of neon sea creatures on a real-world beach, a guided tour with enhanced visuals of a landscape, and an art gallery projected onto the street.
Snapchat spectacles AR have two cameras inside along with four microphones and stereo speakers, and a chip is inserted to give power specifically tuned for AR and VR. But it only has half of an hour (30 mins) battery life.
The availability of new tech is only upon application by creators of Snapchat lenses, using the company’s Lens Studio desktop software, 3D-modelled AR creator tool.
Spectacles’ earlier version was released by Snap Inc, the company behind Snapchat, creating a marketing buzz around the idea with the help of limited pop-up vending machines.
Later, the company sold them as a regular product online – after a year of selling them online, the first version hit the finances of Snap Inc’s to the tune of $40m.
This new AR tech is the fourth version of Spectacles. “Spectacles are the next step in Snap’s journey to reinvent the camera,” the company said in a press release.
Due to its popularity, Snapchat doesn’t get the attention as other social networks receive such as Facebook or Twitter. According to the company report, Snapchat has 500 million monthly active users.
Leo Gebbie, an analyst with CCS Insight, said the new spectacles were “ambitious”.
“The Spectacles represent a staging post on the gradual journey to smartglasses, even if the decision to restrict their availability shows that they aren’t consumer-ready just yet,” he said.
AR devices are getting “slimmer, lighter and more powerful”, he said.
“However, we’re still years away from the ‘holy grail’ of a device which looks no different from normal eyewear, and there are lots of challenges to be overcome in device engineering and design.”
While still not ready for general sale, “it should spur the development of innovative and exciting new uses,” he added.