Snapchat’s new full AR glasses can map 3D effects onto the world

Snapchat’s newest Spectacles are full AR glasses with their own displays, and can show 3D effects and games.


Snapchat

After three versions of Snapchat Spectacles, the social media company has a new pair coming that are real AR glasses. The news was announced at Snapchat’s developer-focused keynote Thursday. 

Snapchat has promised it’s working on a full-featured pair of augmented reality glasses for a while. It’s one of many companies including Facebook, Niantic, and Qualcomm that are trying to crack the idea of everyday smart glasses. Snap’s previous versions of Spectacles were focused on being mainly wearable camera-glasses. Last year’s Spectacles 3 could layer glasses footage with 3D AR effects, but the AR needed to be seen and shared via a phone app; the glasses didn’t have their own displays.

The glasses promise 2,000 nits of brightness, have a 26.3-inch diagonal field of view and dual waveguide displays. They have a touchpad control on the side, and look like thick sunglasses. They use a “Snap Spatial Engine” and have hand-tracking, can track the world with six degrees of freedom, and weigh 134 grams (4.7 ounces), according to Snapchat. 

Another interesting feature: They’re wireless, something other AR glasses this size haven’t achieved yet. But there are tradeoffs, too. The glasses only last for 30 minutes on a charge, according to Snapchat’s specs, and have a limited 480×564-pixel resolution for each eye. The glasses have their own charging case (sounds like you’ll need them). 

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Snapchat

The glasses can launch AR camera effects called Lenses in-glasses and be used to play AR games. The field of view looks narrower than AR headsets like the Microsoft HoloLens and Magic Leap, but also are much smaller. The glasses can also capture video with two RGB cameras with a 115-degree field of view, at 1,920×1,440/30fps.

Snap has already been using these with a limited set of creators to build concepts and Lenses, according to the company’s keynote. Release date and price aren’t known yet.

This is a developing story…



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