Snapchat’s Next Gen AR Spectacles with touchpad and 3D Waveguide Displays introduced

Snap has unveiled its new AR spectacles developed by the Snap Labs at a virtual event last night, which will allow users to have an interactive experience of a real-world environment with the technology of augmented reality, making it the brand’s fourth generation spectacles as well as the first true augmented reality glasses. The company’s CEO, Evan Spiegel firmly believes that he and the brand’s contemporary rivals like Facebook think that the new spectacles will become as ubiquitous as smartphones in the near future. At the virtual event, an interesting live demo of the augmented reality was shown to the audience which illustrated the technology with the theme of virtual butterflies hovering over plants and finally landing in Evan Spiegel’s extended hand.

The fourth-gen spectacles weigh around 134 grams that is more than double the weight of the previously unveiled version and have built-in AR displays which means that it features a dual waveguide display than can superimpose AR effects created with the help of Snapchat’s software tools. “The next generation of Spectacles can help unlock a new way to use AR hands-free,” the company said. This feature makes the new spectacles more ambitious and captivating than the previous first and second generation which were released in 2016 and 2018 respectively. The previous generation glasses were quite simple with a single camera in the corner of the frame. The spectacle’s frame includes four built-in microphones, two stereo speakers and a built-in touchpad as well.

Snapchat's next gen AR Spectacles
Image: Spectacles

There are two front cameras which use the software Snap built for mobile phone lenses that help the spectacles in automatically detecting objects and physical surfaces which the user is looking at and superimpose effects in a way that doesn’t obstruct the real world. Spiegel further said, “I just think that the next generation of Spectacles can help unlock a new way to use AR hands-free, and the ability to really roam around with your eyes looking up at the horizon, out at the world.”

But unfortunately, the company isn’t in a mood to sell the glasses in the market in near future as of now. The new glasses are designed to be worn indoors as well as outdoors with a display of up to 2,000 nits brightness but at the expense of battery life which only lasts 30 minutes. Snap has also highlighted that it is planning to give the Spectacles to AR effects creators through an application program online which will encourage a few people from the group of 2 lakh people who are already involved in making AR effects in Snapchat app to experiment with creating new experiences for the new Spectacles.

Kanchan Choudhary
      Tech Aedgar
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