If you’re a Snapchat fiend, you’ve probably been anxiously awaiting the release of Spectacles. The gadget was first announced in September and has been available at special Snapbot kiosks. But these stands popped up across the U.S. with little warning, and fans were met with long lines and limited supply. So, you’ll probably be happy to hear that the tech company finally released an online purchasing option for Spectacles on Monday.
If you’re more of a casual Snapchat user (or not a user at all!), you’re probably wondering, "what exactly are Specs, anyway?" Well, to be honest, we weren't sure either, so we reached out to the Snapchat team for a helpful rundown:
Spectacles (also known as “Specs”) are Snap Inc.’s first foray into tech hardware. They are a pair of sunglasses that have built-in HD cameras that let you record video and then upload 10-second Snaps to the app. You’re no longer limited to the scope of your camera—the camera on the glasses captures video in a 115-degree field of view, mimicking the way humans see and experience the world. The purpose of “Specs” is to help capture memories and moments as you see them, in real time—all without having to fiddle with your phone. You can’t take pictures, though—the glasses are meant solely for video.
To take a video, simply press the button on Specs to start recording 10-second clips. The camera lights up to indicate filming is in progress. Users can record up to 30 seconds of video at a time, but the clip will appear in your Memories (a recent feature that saves snaps indefinitely) in 10-second segments. Instead of vertical or horizontal video, Specs capture circular video.
To get snaps onto Snapchat, you pair Specs with your phone (iPhone 5 and later running iOS 8 and above, or Android running 4.3 and above) via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Once the devices are paired, you can wirelessly transfer snaps to the app and view them in Memories. Delete snaps from the Specs once they’re imported to conserve space. (Specs can hold about 200 ten-second snaps.)
The glasses are always on, and always using battery—but the case it comes with also holds four full charges. You can take about 100 ten-second snaps on each charge.
The glasses aren’t just a cheap pair of shades, either. They include impact and UV protection (ANSI Z80.3 rated), but they are not polarized or anti-reflective. If you require prescription lenses, you can have your optician swap out the standard lenses, too. The glasses cost $130 and come in three different colors: coral, black, and teal. They're available to purchase on spectacles.com.
Knowing all this, you’re probably not going to swap out your favorite pair of sunglasses this summer for Specs, but chances are you’ll be hearing about them more.
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