Snap's New Spectacles Provide an AR Viewing Experience

But they aren't for sale

Snap introduced a new iteration of its Spectacle glasses on Thursday that can superimpose immersive augmented-reality effects over what you see through the lenses. 

A demo on Snap’s website shows how the fourth generation of Spectacles inserts colorful shapes and words floating in front of you as you see the real world. There’s one caveat to these impressive glasses, though: they aren’t for sale. 

Snap's AR Spectacles

Snap

Instead, Snap said it is taking applications from creators "looking to push the limits of immersive AR experiences." 

The AR spectacles feature dual 3D waveguide displays and a 26.3-degree diagonal field of view, with an automatically adjustable display that can go up to 2,000 nits of brightness, both indoors and outdoors. The glasses have a touchpad, two RGB cameras, four microphones, and weigh 134 grams, which The Verge noted is double the weight of the previous Spectacle glasses. 

However, the Spectacles’ battery reportedly only lasts a mere 30 minutes on a full charge. The glasses also don’t look as stylish as Spectacles of the past, and somewhat resemble the disposable 3D glasses you would get at a movie theater. 

Demo of Snap's AR Spectacles

Snap

Snap first introduced Spectacles in 2016 with one camera that let you snap videos that could later be uploaded to your phone to post on Snapchat or elsewhere. The hype around those glasses was their limited availability, since you could only purchase them in one of the big yellow pop-up vending machines. 

The Spectacles 3 that debuted in 2019 are a little more fashion-forward and can be bought directly off Spectacles’ website, instead of those mysterious vending machines. This model boasts a camera on each side of the frames to capture depth and dimension, as well as some added 3D effects you can add to your videos. 

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