Snap Spectacles 3 advances with 3D and AR capabilities

Spectacles, the Snap smart eyewear line, unveiled the latest addition to their line of photo-taking and video-recording pair of sunglasses last Tuesday called the Spectacles 3. The new eyewear boasts new features such as two 3D cameras and augmented reality capability.

Spectacles have been on a bumpy road since the first model was released back in 2016. Snap wrote down $39.9 million in 2017 on the first version, which was priced at $129.99. However, Snapchat—its mother company—seems to have not given up hope on the potential of the sunglasses, and has been trying to improve the device.

The smart eyewear is seemingly banking on the idea that it could be a wearable piece of gadget that people would appreciate through its capability of capturing Snapchat photos and videos without taking your smartphone out.

Source: Snap

The third generation of glasses will be available in two colors: “carbon” (black) and “mineral” (somewhere between beige and rose gold). They are constructed from a lightweight stainless steel frame, that’s meant for all-day wearing. There are also adjustable tips and tinted lenses for protection from the sun. Overall, a practical piece of eyewear to bring on a sunny day.

Each pair comes with a charging case to both keep the glasses and function as a charger — to which the case folds completely flat when the glasses aren’t inside for more convenient carrying.

Like previous editions, Spectacles allows you to easily capture photos and videos by tapping a button on top of the glasses. There are light indicators around the cameras that tell you when you’re recording or not.

However, automatic file transfer to your phone is still not available in the third generation of Spectacles, and you still have to sync them to your Android or iOS device manually. The company noted that there are certain technical barriers that prevent them from doing so. Nonetheless, it would have been an appreciated update to make the experience easier.

After you’re done syncing, you can then edit and send your photos or videos to your friends on Snapchat, or export them for sharing on other platforms.

Snap says you’ll be able to capture 70 videos and more than 200 photos on a single charge, and the 4GB of storage on the device can hold up to 100 videos or 1,200 photos. Photos are stored at a resolution of 1,642 by 1,642 pixels; videos are stored at 1,216 by 1,216.

You can only record videos for up to a minute at a time — an improvement from the 10-second video capture in the previous installments.

Source: Snap

Spectacles 3 does have some intriguing new features. In particular, Snap is making improvements by introducing 3D imaging with the depth of perception and AR filters to your photos and videos for the first time.

This was made possible through the addition of another HD camera placed on both the top ends of the glasses. Videos will record at 60 fps; meanwhile, audio is captured using a four-microphone array, which Snap says helps improve the audio considerably on captured content.

In general, the combination of the two cameras will allow users to apply augmented reality filter onto images and video, as well as, apply 3D effects. Meaning, these aesthetics would appear as if they are placed in real life.

3D viewing, another feature that users can do by taking advantage of the cameras, allows viewers of the images to see processed photos from the same perspective as someone who’s captured video using their Spectacles 3.

For now, 3D effects will be exclusive to Spectacles and its users, allowing them to enjoy an entire set of new ways to present their creativity and art. The company plans to let third-party developers design depth effects starting later this year.

On other parts of the sunglasses, battery life is unimproved from the previous edition. Notably, there’s the second camera that needs to be considered, but as before, Spectacles can be recharged by storing them in the included charging case. A full charge will take 75 minutes.

Additionally, Spectacles 3 won’t be offering water-resistance as a feature unlike the Spectacles 2 in 2018 — the $200 Veronica and Nico — in January.

People fascinated by cameras on the top of their heads could expect the device to launch this Fall, but Spectacles are accepting pre-orders as early as today. Spectacles 3 cost $380.

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