Snapchat Announces 'Spectacles,' $130 Sunglasses That Record 10 Seconds of Video at a Time

Snapchat has announced its first hardware product, a one-size-fits-all pair of sunglasses called Spectacles that can record 10 seconds of video at a time, reports The Wall Street Journal. The glasses will cost $130 and launch this fall in three colors: teal, black and coral. Video will sync wirelessly to a paired iPhone or other smartphone.

spectacles

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel in Spectacles, Photo by The WSJ

The glasses record when you tap a button near the hinge, and each tap records 10 seconds of video footage from its 115-degree-angle lens. The lens was designed to be wider than smartphone cameras, more closely mirroring the natural view of human eyes. The video is recorded in a circular format, as Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel argues that the square and rectangle form that photos and videos currently come in are a vestige of early photos being printed on paper.

Snapchat has been developing Spectacles for years, and Spiegel has been testing the device himself for a year. He tells The WSJ that one of the advantages of Spectacles is not having to hold a smartphone in front of your face because it's "like a wall." Re-watching first-person footage is like reliving a memory, Spiegel argues.

He remembers testing a prototype in early 2015 while hiking with his fiancée, supermodel Miranda Kerr. “It was our first vacation, and we went to Big Sur for a day or two. We were walking through the woods, stepping over logs, looking up at the beautiful trees. And when I got the footage back and watched it, I could see my own memory, through my own eyes—it was unbelievable. It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience. It was the closest I’d ever come to feeling like I was there again.”

Spiegel refers to Spectacles as a "toy," and that the best use of it would be to wear it at an outdoor concert or barbecue "for kicks." The company is taking a slow approach to launch with limited distribution, similar to Google Glass. Spiegel says Snapchat wants to "figure out if it fits into people's lives and seeing how they like it." When asked why they made the product and decided to enter the hardware market, Spiegel said "because it's fun."

Snapchat has also changed its company name to Snap, Inc as it has expanded its portfolio past its Snapchat app, similar to how Apple changed its name from Apple Computer.

Spiegel thinks of the newly-dubbed Snap, Inc as a camera company rather than a social media company, The WSJ notes. He studied the early histories of Kodak and Polaroid and how they pitched portable cameras to the public. Spectacles gives Snap control of a physical camera, bypassing the smartphone cameras, like that of the iPhone, at the heart of Snapchat thus far. Spiegel hints to The WSJ that there could be "far-reaching implications" if Snap controlled the hardware its users take pictures and video with.

Top Rated Comments

Silver Idaten Avatar
62 months ago
I didn't think it could possibly get any dumber than Google Glass, and yet here we are!
Score: 61 Votes (Like | Disagree)
garirry Avatar
62 months ago
Reminds me of how everyone thought Google Glass was going to succeed.
Score: 53 Votes (Like | Disagree)
holyjohn Avatar
62 months ago
ewwww so ugly fugly
Score: 51 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jamescobalt Avatar
62 months ago
Checks date. Not April 1st. Comments that he checked date that it's not April 1st.
Nearly comments that he comments, narrowly avoiding getting stuck in a recursive loop.
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ipedro Avatar
62 months ago
While this is intended for the Snapchat generation, I can't help but imagine a more mainstream application for something like this.

Google Glass was too early for its time but its time may be coming. A pair of glasses that records everything that you see while wearing them is something that could exist in an era of unlimited storage which cloud computing will inevitably lead to. Artificial intelligence able to recognize and index objects, moments and people would make it possible to search our lives for memories. "Show me that time when I first noticed my wife walking out of Macy's".

There's a privacy concern that is gradually fading away as the generation that Spectacles was built for have grown up expecting cameras everywhere and not only not caring that they're being filmed but craving it. Older folks will hate it but the world will no longer be built for them.
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scoobydoo99 Avatar
62 months ago
the 1990's called. they want their "mini" cameras back.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone12protriplelenscamera

Apple's Orders for Key iPhone 13 Camera Component Expected to Outstrip Entire Android Market

Wednesday June 9, 2021 12:47 am PDT by
Major camera upgrades coming to the iPhone 13 series are putting increased pressure on suppliers to meet Apple's demand for key lens components, according to a new DigiTimes report. Apple has reportedly put Taiwan-based makers of voice coil motor (VCM) components on notice to increase their capacity by 30-40% in order to meet the company's demand, which is expected to outstrip the entire...
live text macos monterey

Several macOS Monterey Features Unavailable on Intel-Based Macs

Wednesday June 9, 2021 8:23 am PDT by
While there are many great new features in macOS Monterey, several of them are not available on Intel-based Macs, according to Apple. On the macOS Monterey features page, fine print indicates that the following features require a Mac with the M1 chip, including any MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, Mac mini, and iMac model released since November 2020:Portrait Mode blurred backgrounds in...
m1x mbp tags feature

Apple Lists 'M1X MacBook Pro' in YouTube Tags for WWDC Keynote Video

Wednesday June 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
Before WWDC, rumors largely driven by leaker Jon Prosser suggested that Apple would announce redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros during the conference. Those rumors, however, did not come to fruition. Interestingly, though, Apple lists "m1x MacBook Pro" as a tag for the WWDC keynote uploaded on YouTube. The tag, first spotted by Apple YouTuber Max Balzer on Twitter, is among other...
macos monterey setup assistant

macOS Monterey Allows You to Erase a Mac Without Needing to Reinstall the Operating System

Wednesday June 9, 2021 4:41 pm PDT by
It's been a few days since Apple announced macOS Monterey, and we continue to dig through new features that weren't mentioned during the WWDC keynote, including a much more convenient way of erasing a Mac. Following in the footsteps of the iPhone and iPad, the Mac has gained an "Erase All Content and Settings" option on macOS Monterey. The option allows you to erase all user data and...
apple repair service expansion iphone repair 07072020 big

Apple Agrees to Multimillion-Dollar Settlement After iPhone Repair Technicians Post Customer's Private Photos Online

Monday June 7, 2021 2:44 am PDT by
Apple has paid a 21-year-old millions of dollars in a legal settlement after photos and videos from the customer's iPhone, sent in for repair, were uploaded to Facebook, leading to "severe emotional distress," according to a new report from The Telegraph. The incident occurred in 2016 at a repair facility run by Apple supplier Pegatron in California. The 21-year-old college student sent her...
16 inch macbook pro m2 render

New MacBook Pro Shipments Forecasted to Begin in Third Quarter

Tuesday June 8, 2021 8:28 am PDT by
While leaker Jon Prosser claimed that a new MacBook Pro was coming at WWDC, Apple's keynote did not include any new hardware announcements. Instead, it is looking increasingly likely that redesigned 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models powered by a faster iteration of the M1 chip will be released in the third or fourth quarter of the year. A paywalled preview of a DigiTimes report today...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With iOS 15: See Apple's New Operating System Update in Action

Tuesday June 8, 2021 3:28 pm PDT by
Apple yesterday unveiled iOS 15, the newest version of the iOS operating system that runs on the iPhone (and the iPad with iPadOS 15). iOS 15 is a significant update that introduces many important new features, and we thought we'd give MacRumors readers a first look at the new software. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Not everything that was announced yesterday is...
imac macbook pro macos monterey

Newer Macs Can Use Another Mac as an External Display on macOS Monterey

Wednesday June 9, 2021 2:10 pm PDT by
One of the key new features of macOS Monterey is the ability to AirPlay content to a Mac from other Apple devices, such as an iPhone, iPad, or another Mac. According to the macOS Monterey features page, AirPlay to Mac works works both wirelessly or wired using a USB cable, with Apple noting that a wired connection is useful when you want to ensure that there's no latency or don't have access to a ...
Dark Sky App Featured

Dark Sky iOS App, Website, and API Now Scheduled to Remain Available Until End of 2022

Thursday June 10, 2021 7:34 am PDT by
Last year, Apple acquired the weather app Dark Sky, and shortly after its purchase, Apple shut down the app for Android. Despite the revamped iOS 15 Weather app taking heavy inspiration from Dark Sky, the weather's app standalone iOS app, web app, and API will remain available until the end of next year, compared to the end of this year, as previously planned. Dark Sky announced in an update ...
photos app remove from featured

iOS 15 Finally Lets You Block Your Exes From Ruining Your Photo Memories

Wednesday June 9, 2021 12:37 pm PDT by
With iOS 15, Apple is introducing more granular control over the people and places that show up in your Photos Memories, letting you fine tune just who makes random appearances in the Photos app and the Photos widget. In iOS 14, the option on the right was available, but in iOS 15, the person-specific option is new You've already been able to select "Suggest Fewer Memories Like This" when...