Snap’s new Spectacles show a different reality
Future. Snap announced a fully AR (augmented reality) pair of Spectacles that will release… someday. For now, the lenses will be made available to select AR creators, which should build both buzz and help facilitate the development of a slate of apps before they hit the public market. On top of the hardware, Snap is also talking up a new slate of software products and incubators programs that may make Snap the go-to company for the coming AR revolution… by simply getting there first.
At Snap’s annual partner summit, the company teased its 4th-gen Spectacles… even though they aren’t really ready yet.
- Created by the Snap Lab division, they’re Snap’s first fully augmented-reality glasses — capable of displaying AR images created using Snap’s software tools.
- The frames have a built-in touchpad, speakers, and microphones.
- But before you get too excited… they’re not yet ready for the public market just yet. Instead, the company only sent the glasses to an undisclosed number of AR Snap creators.
- That’s probably for the best, though, because the battery only lasts for 30 minutes right now.
At the partner summit, a demo showed virtual butterflies flying around and landing on CEO Evan Spiegel’s hand.
Mixed reality bag
Snap’s push into AR is not just a side hustle. Snap, which considers itself a “camera company” as opposed to strictly a social platform — is also building out the infrastructure for AR adoption.
- Snap announced that brands can now more easily add AR versions of online catalogs so that users can try pieces on.
- It’s launching ‘Connected Lenses,’ which allows multiple users to see and interact with the same AR view simultaneously.
- And because Snap loves giving out money, it’s rolling out an AR innovation lab called Ghost and a fund with Verizon to give millions to AR creators.
In addition to the Spectacles news, Snap announced new features, such as an editing app called Story Studio and a new social map called Layers. Also, the company revealed that it has hit 500 million monthly active users — reaching half of all smartphone users in the U.S.