Snap’s Spectacles are starting to hit the streets, and eBay. I’ve been able to glean some details about the way they work from early users. The images above and below come from the auction listing, which has already hit $553 as I write this.
The Spectacles charge in the case and there are about 4 full charges stored in the case’s battery. You recharge the case with a cable attached to the wall. BI dug up a patent a couple of days ago that details the charging method, which consists of contacts inside the arm of the glasses. This makes sense because true inductive charging requires a coil, which would require additional hardware and complexity in both the case and the glasses.
You tap a button on top to start the snap, which lasts 10 seconds or (probably) until you tap again.
There is an LED inside the right side of the Spectacles (behind the camera) that begins counting down the 10 seconds in a circular ring, showing you how much time you have left to snap. You can shoot around 100 ten-second clips using the Spectacles’ internal storage before you have to connect them to your phone and transfer them over.
The Spectacles dump the pics automatically and drop into Snapchat’s Memories section.
They feel like a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers weight wise, so on the heavier side for sunglasses, which is to be expected given the camera unit embedded on the right side.
The snaps themselves are extremely wide angle and have that “Point Of View” feel becoming more and more common in cameras and VR/AR systems.
There is another whole discussion in how POV, which encourages eye contact (something that you get with Spectacles) is an enormous break in narrative technique from centuries of film and photography. Traditionally, eye contact with the camera was considered something to be avoided as it breaks immersion. With POV cameras, however, you’re placed into the narrative and have to come to grips with the fact that you’re a character.
But I digress. Now that the Spectacles are getting out to people I’m sure we’ll see more about the way they’re used.
It’s interesting that Snap is letting them get out to customers via a vending machine near its headquarters, rather than shipping them to traditional tech reviewers or press to fondle — but it makes a ton of sense to me. Interesting strategy for an interesting company.
Ellen DeGeneres got an early peek at the vending machine and Spectacles on her Snapchat, so check that out at ‘Ellen’ on there.