Towards the end of 2016, Snapchat launched its first consumer product, the Spectacles, a pair of glasses equipped with a small camera with the ability to record video clips from a first-person perspective and upload them to a Story on the Snapchat app on iOS and Android. Even though the company took a $40 million loss on the Spectacles in the end, a new report from one of our sources claims that Snapchat is doubling down on the product and is working on two new versions.
On that note, a second generation model is reported to be coming by fall and according to people familiar with the company’s plans, it is “currently being manufactured. This model will be water resistant, have bug fixes, performance improvements, and new color options, but otherwise won’t have any “dramatic changes.”
After the model launches, Snapchat is planning “a more ambitious version” for 2019 described as featuring a novel design, built-in GPS, two camera lenses, and more advanced camera technology within each lens to fuel “3D-like depth effects in videos.” The first Spectacles ran at a cost of $130, the third generation pair could cost well up to $300.
In fact, the two versions could also feature increased reality abilities and could be a potential competition for the “Apple Glasses,” if the product becomes a reality.
Snap has intentions to make the forthcoming versions of Spectacles include AR capabilities like integration with Snapchat’s virtual Bitmoji avatars and animated lenses. Almost all major tech companies, from Apple to Facebook, are working on similar AR eyewear.
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel stated publicly that selling hardware will be a significant part of his business in about a decade. His associates state that he views Augmented Reality (AR), or the overlaying of virtual objects onto the physical world, as the next epitome shift in personal computing.
Furthermore to the news of potential updates to Spectacles, there are rumours that Snapchat is holding conversations with major glasses companies like Luxottica and Warby Parker and that it could lead to Snapchat licensing out its Spectacles-based camera technology to other companies, to provide users with opportunity to buy more traditional looking glasses and still be able to get frames that connect to their Snapchat.