Yesterday’s release of Snapchat’s “Spectacles” was highly anticipated by pretty much everyone. Snap Inc. (formerly Snapchat Inc.) didn’t release many details about the product before its launch. However, now that it’s in the hands of social media junkies, we’ve learned a lot about what Spectacles has to offer. Here’s what we know so far:
The first question on your mind is probably, “What the heck are Spectacles?” Spectacles are stylish sunglasses fitted with a video camera that allow you to film “snaps” from your perspective. They are the first consumer electronics product from Snap Inc., and the product is designed to be work exclusively with the Snapchat app.
How do you Snap?
A button on one end of the glasses can be used to start and stop filming your 10-second snaps. You can, however, film for up to 30 seconds at a time, but the video will automatically be broken down into three ten-second snaps. To make Spectacles less creepy, an LED light on the front of the frames illuminates to show people around you that you’re snapping. The light also counts down 10 seconds to tell you how much time you have left to record your snap.
After wirelessly pairing your Spectacles to Snapchat on your phone, the snaps you take with Spectacles are automatically imported into your Snapchat Memories. Just make sure the Snapchat app is open and your Spectacles are nearby. On the app, there is a designated button that gives you access to your Spectacles snaps, and you can edit and post whichever snaps you like. While you can add stickers and text to these snaps, you can’t use Snapchat’s signature AR lenses. The snaps have a wide, circular “point of view” angle, so when you view them on Snapchat, you can rotate your phone to see even more of the scene.
The Technical Details
Each pair of Spectacles comes with a charging case, charging cable, and cleaning cloth (shaped like a ghost!). Snap Inc. says that additional accessories will be available in the future. The battery in the glasses case can be recharged with the provided cable and can hold about 4 full charges. The Spectacles themselves are charged wirelessly within the case so you can charge them on-the-go. A single charge is enough to power and store about 100 ten-second Snaps on the Spectacles. Spectacles are only compatible with certain iPhone and Android models: iPhone 5 and later (running iOS 8 and above), and Android devices (running Android 4.3 and above with BLE and Wi-Fi Direct).
— Spectacles (@Spectacles) November 10, 2016
How to Get Your Hands on Them
Spectacles are available in Black, Coral or Teal and cost $129+tax. The only way to buy them is through adorable yellow vending machines called “Snapbots”. You can “try on” Spectacles before you buy them through Snapchat lenses built into the vending machines. Snapbots only stay in a certain place for about a day, and are then relocated to a different place in the country. Yesterday’s Snapbot was located near Snap Inc.’s HQ in Venice, California. You can keep track of whether a Snapbot is near you using a locator map tool on the Spectacles website, which will be updated 24 hours in advance. The Snapchat app will also provide specific geofilters to users if a Snapbot is currently in their area. Keep in mind that since demand (and lines) are so long, they are limiting how many Spectacles a person can buy.
The lucky few who have managed to try Spectacles out say that they are unique because they allow you to record scenes as you experience them yourself. Users also say that operation is easy and straightforward. We can’t wait for a Snapbot to land near our NYC office. Those long lines definitely seem worth it!