Snapchat Spectacles hit the world by surprise back in September 2016 when the company we know very well behind the new wearable, also announced it would now be known as Snap Inc. It’s the first such device from an otherwise software company, and initially you could only buy them at special vending machines that popped up around the country.
That has since changed because now you can buy them directly online. Available in several different colors, you can purchase a pair for $129.
Unlike Google Glass which allowed the wearer to see the equivalent of a 25-inch HD display from eight feet away, Snapchat Spectacles have no screen. For the sci-fi fans out there, there’s no Terminator-style overlay built into the lenses themselves. Maybe some day, but at least not for the time being.
Their purpose really comes down to two things: protect your eyes while looking stylish, and record what’s happening around you. There are two cameras, one on the top corner of each side, which gives people watching your video a first-person view.
How Snapchat Spectacles Work
Of course, as one would suspect, they work only with the Snapchat app. The way they connect to your phone is via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Videos are automatically imported to your Memories, and to start recording a video, you simply tap on a button on the top left of the glasses.
Because you can only post videos up to 10 seconds in length, it will only record 10 seconds at a time. To know it’s actually working and recording, the person wearing them will see a small light inside the glasses, and a ring of LEDs will light up around the outside of the cameras.
Although most people have their phone by their sides at any given time, should you not have it on you, Snapchat Spectacles can store up to 200 snaps. Once you reconnect to your phone, they’ll begin importing.
Since they’re meant to show a first-person view of what’s happening, Snapchat wraps the video in a circular format, making it appear more so.
To see how much battery is left, you simply double tap the same button that you tap to record, and the LEDs around the cameras work also as a battery indicator. To charge them, you simply place them in their carrying case, which plugs into a USB port. As is standard with many wearables, you should get a day of use before needing to recharge.
Snapchat Spectacles might seem gimmicky at first. After all, Snap Inc CEO Evan Spiegel referred to them as “a toy” in a Wall Street Journal interview. However, their smart blend of design and functionality could be a further catalyst in a new generation of eyeglasses.