Messaging app firm Snapchat has forayed into the world of hardware and introduced its first ever gadget – sun glasses with a built-in camera. Thelatest gadget, which the company is calling ‘Spectacles’, will go on sale later this fall priced at $129.99 (£100), according to The Wall Street Journal. At present, many camera glasses are available on AliExpress and Amazon at much lower prices, but without the brand name. (See the end of this article)
Initially, the glasses will only be available in one size, however they will come in three colours – teal, coral and black. An article published by the WSJ on Friday confirmed the news while releasing Snap’s 26-year-old CEO and creator Evan Spiegel’s pictures wearing them, taken by legendary fashion photographer Karl Lagerfeld.
Video recording will mimic Snapchat’s app, which means you may only capture 10 seconds of video at once. This video will sync wirelessly to your smartphone, presumably making it accessible to share it as a snap. To begin recording you’ll need to press a button on the side of the glasses. A ring of small LEDs around the camera will light up so that others know that the glasses are recording video. Interestingly, the camera will use a 115-degree lens (which is wider than a smartphone or common digital camera) and the video captured shall be ’round’ or ‘circular’. It’s not yet clear how this video might be displayed within the app.
Explaining his rational for creating Spectacles, Mr Spiegel said 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.”
As part of the announcement, Snapchat is also renaming itself to Snap, Inc. The renaming decision underlined the company’s apparent ambition to transcend the ephemeral messaging app, a product which is very popular with younger individuals.
Prior to the confirmation from Snap, news website Business Insider published a leaked video showing the glasses. Snap has since released an official clip and unlike the earlier video that leaked out ahead of the announcement, this video is much more like Snapchat.
It is interesting to note that while Snap’s glasses will be priced at $130 and limit video recording to only 10 seconds, much better, cheaper and bigger variety of ‘spy glasses’ or camera glasses are already available on the popular shopping sites Amazon and Aliexpress. We will list some good ones below:
- Polarized Lens HD 1080P Sunglasses Camera for Outdoor Action W2313A – $41 on Aliexpress
- E&A Mini Spy DV DVR Hidden Video Ski Camera Sunglasses – $18 on Amazon
- New 8GB/16GB/32GB Black/Orange Polarized Lens HD 1080P Sunglasses Camera – $45 on AliExpress
- Mini HD 720P Spy Camera Glasses Hidden Eyewear DVR Video Recorder Cam Camcorder – $27 on Amazon
- 1GB HD Cam Eyewear Digital camera Video Recorder Glasses – $18.8 on AliExpress
- Wosports HD Video Camera Glasses WiFi (Includes live stream) – $60 on Amazon – Our Top Pick
If you have any questions, suggestions, criticism, we’ll be happy to hear your views 🙂