Snap’s second generation of camera glasses are here — and in more style options. Back in April, Snap showed off an updated version of its Spectacles — they’ll set you back $150. But that wasn’t all Snap had up its sleeves. On September 5, Snap shared two new styles for the glasses, Nico and Veronica, that house the same tech with a different frame for the users adverse to the glasses’ circular lenses.
The second-generation camera-equipped sunglasses were previously confirmed by Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel in an interview with Wired, and now, we know that the wearables are able to take still images and are water-resistant. They’re available to order through Snap’s website.
Rumors of Spectacles 2 have spread for some time, but it was never certain the product would be released, given the massive volume of unsold pairs of original Spectacles the company was rumored to have hidden away. However, this new model may prove more popular among customers. The second generation eyewear is thinner than its predecessor and generally sleeker. There’s no more yellow ring wrapping around the camera lens on the Spectacles, and rather than solid colored arms, the sides of the Spectacles fade to a clear finish.
You can buy the Spectacles 2 in three colors: onyx, ruby, and sapphire. Previously, the variants were black, teal, and coral.
The Nico and Veronica Spectacles bring more than just color choices to the camera glasses. The options house the same camera, but adds polarized lenses (for the user, not the camera) and different frame shapes. Both are black frames with black lenses but split from the circular lens shape of the original. The Nico has a boxier shape, while the Veronica has larger lenses and tucks the camera into a point on the upper corner that brings cat’s-eye-shaped glasses to mind. The new Spectacle 2 styles come at a premium price, however, retailing for $50 more than the original frames.
In addition to still photography support and water resistance, Spectacles 2 also features two microphones, which should help up the ante on audio quality for far-field voices, and should also aid in canceling out extraneous noise. Plus, there’s a new Wi-Fi chip so that you can easily move content to your companion Snapchat app. Photos and videos, in fact, will automatically be imported in HD over Wi-Fi, and overall, image quality should improve as well, given that this new model has 25 percent more pixels in its camera sensor.
Nothing has really changed in terms of battery life, so you can still capture around a week’s worth of content, or about 70 videos and up to 280 (or so) photos. The new charging case can provide up to four charges for the wearable, and if you wear glasses, Snap is also giving you the chance to buy prescription lenses for the Spectacles thanks to a new partnership with lens seller Lensabl.
Spectacles are developed separately from the Snapchat app, allowing the two to evolve without interference. The eventual plan is for the two to meet, with Spiegel saying that, “Over the next decade or so, the way these pieces fit together will probably be what defines our company.” He’s conscious of augmented reality’s limited success elsewhere, and says hardware restrictions — batteries, screens, and design — hold it back.
Snap also says it’s working on adding a new feature that will automatically collect the best Spectacles captures and automatically create a Highlight Story from the content.
Previous rumors suggested that Snap was developing two new versions of Spectacles. The first pair were said to be a slight improvement over the first-generation model, with a performance boost, added water resistance, and a choice of new colors (and that seems to be what we have now). However, another pair was rumored to be yet more desirable.
Those Spectacles, which have yet to come to fruition, were said to have dual cameras with depth-sensing technology, GPS, a new design, and be made out of aluminum rather than plastic. We’ll just have to see if that even further improved version ever makes its debut.
Updated on September 5: Two new frame styles have arrived.
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