At its Partner Summit today, Snap today announced a new pair of Spectacles with AR capabilities. Unlike the first three generations, these are not yet going on sale and aimed specifically for augmented reality development.

These Spectacles feature dual 3D waveguide displays that can reach up to 2,000 nits of brightness and a 26.3-degree diagonal field of view. There are two RGB cameras and four microphones with control done via a touchpad. It weighs 134 grams and only has 30 minutes of battery life

Visually, many have pointed out how it has a Tesla Cybertruck brutalist aesthetic with sharp corners and angles. It’s also very wide on some people’s faces. You can, unsurprisingly, “try them on” in Snapchat by scanning the code below. 

A “Snap Spatial Engine” is touted as allowing for six degrees of freedom, hand, marker, and surface tracking, while there’s a 15-millisecond motion to photon latency.

Given their current creator focus, you can use them to overlay AR Lenses into the real world with Snap touting Lens Studio integration. However, those wearing these Spectacles can send pictures/videos right from the device to contacts. 

Unlike the first three generations of Spectacles, which were more focused on sharing, these are not available for sale with a creation sign-up process available here. 

Snap’s announcements of these AR Spectacles will move the industry closer to consumer devices down the road. In the near future, Apple is rumored to be releasing an augmented reality device, though it might be more akin to a VR headset. Samsung concepts leaked earlier this year, while Google (including at I/O 2021) has been very quiet about its plan for the wearable AR form factor. Focus remains on building phone-based experiences, but the upside is that they will very likely be a core part of its glasses experience.

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Abner Li

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