While augmented reality is not yet augmented reality, the latest styles of Snapchat's Spectacle 2 eyewear provide insight into the future of mainstream AR wearables.
On Wednesday, the company introduced two new styles, Nico and Veronica, which are expanding their Spectacles 2 range. The new glasses dispenses with the rounded style of the original for a design reminiscent of designer sunglasses.
The Nico and Veronica versions of the glasses feature polarized lenses (with prescription lenses available through a partnership with Lensabl) and are available in black. In comparison, there are the original design in three color variants and two versions with UV-tinted lenses.
According to the technical specifications, the new models are almost identical to the current predecessor model. The glasses have an HD camera for first-person photos and videos and is waterproof. According to a company spokesman, the glasses support the new functionality released earlier this summer, namely the automatic storage of recorded content and the ability to choose between horizontal and quadratic video formats. In addition, the built-in battery can be fully charged in about an hour via a charging cable instead of the charging case of the original.
The new colors can now be ordered via Spectacles' webshop. Shipping takes about two to three weeks. The newer styles cost $ 199.99 and cost $ 50 more than the original design. Customers can purchase the eyewear at selected Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom stores in the US this fall, as well as other retailers in Europe.
In addition to announcing the new eyewear series, Snap has already announced some new features
"Later this fall, we will also introduce a new Snapchat feature that automatically merges your Spectacles Snaps into a single highlight story" So Team Snap in a blog post. "Highlight Stories will make it quicker and easier to find your favorite moments and share them with friends after a whole day of snapping."
From Snap's point of view, Spectacles represents an evolutionary step between smartphones and AR-enabled Smartglasses through a corporate spokesperson. the digital content in the field of view of the user. This is consistent with the reports that Snap is developing a Smartglass version of Spectacles, which is expected to include a dual-camera setup for depth measurement and GPS for the 2019 location.
Through its ongoing innovation in mobile AR, the company seems poised to finally leap into smartglasses on the software side.
Perhaps more importantly, Snap is beginning to show a more fashionable sense of style that is more critical than tech-oriented in terms of generating interest from general consumers to early users.
The new Nico version reflects the classic style of the ever-popular Ray-Bans. And while the Veronica version sounds familiar to me, I could not quite capture the design influence, so I asked a focus group of one (my wife) what they looked like. Instead of offering a brand comparison, she replied with a single word: "Beauty." That's mainstream appeal right there.