- The first version of Snap’s Spectacles was released in 2016.
- According to reports, new versions might be released both this year and in 2019.
- The 2019 pair is said to have two cameras to allow 3D depth effects.
According to Cheddar, the 2018 version will come with subtle changes such as new colors, water-proofing, and having some bugs fixed. However, the more exciting news is that the 2019 version is expected to include two cameras to allow 3D depth effects in videos (though true AR glasses may still be a couple of years away for the company).
The original Spectacles are sunglasses with built-in cameras. They allow the wearer to take 10-second videos, all from their own viewpoint, and send them through Snapchat.
While in our review we found the video quality of the glasses to be quite poor, we also praised the idea, calling them the “first kind of well-executed attempt at giving people the ability to share a unique perspective.”
Despite this, and an inventive marketing campaign that saw the glasses sold through Snapbot vending machines that traveled the US (at least for the first few months), the Cheddar article suggests that Snap only sold 150,000 pairs and left hundreds of thousands of pairs unsold.
Meanwhile, the article also indicated that as well as making their own glasses, Snapchat has been in discussion with eyewear companies in order to put their technology in third-party glasses.
Snapchat isn’t the only company currently working on releasing smart glasses. In February, Intel unveiled a prototype of their Vaunt smart glasses that, unlike Snapchat’s Spectacles, look like normal glasses. They also don’t have a camera, instead coming with a display to help the wearer interact with the world around them.
However, the prototype has a number of drawbacks, including the fact that each pair has to be specially fitted for each user. This means that Intel still seems to have some way to go before the product is finished.
Last year, Amazon was reported to have been working on a pair of smart glasses too. These were expected to be equipped with Amazon’s smart assistant Alexa instead of a camera or screen. We don’t know for sure if Amazon has plans to officially release them, or when it might do so.