Snap as you look through Spectacles

FIRST-PERSON VIEW: The Spectacles from Snapchat takes video using the built-in camera.


    Sep 26, 2016

    Snap as you look through Spectacles


    VANISHING message service Snapchat announced on Saturday it will launch a line of video-cam sunglasses, a spin on Glass eyewear abandoned by Google more than a year ago.

    The California-based company, which also announced it is changing its name to Snap Inc., said in an online post that its Spectacles will be "available soon", with media reports pegging the price at US$130 (S$177) a pair.

    "We've been working for the past few years to develop a totally new type of camera," said the post by Team Snap.

    "Spectacles are sunglasses with an integrated video camera that makes it easy to create Memories."

    Snap earlier this year added a way to save images as "Memories", a shift for a service know for messages that disappear after being viewed.

    Spectacles were billed as having one of the smallest wireless cameras in the world, capable of capturing a day's worth of "Snaps" on a single charge.

    The sunglasses connect to Snap software wirelessly using Bluetooth or WiFi connections.

    Spectacles cameras take video from the perspective of wearers, boast a 115-degree field of view, and capture snippets of video intended for sharing at the service.

    Snap estimates it has more than 100 million users globally of the service for sending videos, images and text messages which vanish after being viewed. Some reports say it generates 10 billion video views per day.

    Google in January of last year halted sales of its Internet-linked eyewear Glass, which became available in the United States in early 2014.

    The technology titan put the brakes on an "explorer" programme that let people interested in dabbling with Glass - hotly anticipated by some, mocked by others - buy eyewear for $1,500 apiece.

    The Glass test programme was later expanded to Britain, but no general consumer version was released.

    Glass connected to the Internet using WiFi hot spots or, more typically, by being wirelessly tethered to mobile phones.

    Google Glass had been hit with criticism due to concerns about privacy since the devices were capable of capturing pictures and video.

    Spectacles, expected to be in limited supply when they hit the market, would put pressure on GoPro, whose mini-cameras are designed to let people capture video of endeavours from personal perspectives.