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Snapchat Unveils Updated Spectacles With Improved Audio, New Colours & Faster Data Transfer

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Spectacles version 2.0 is here

Snap Inc, the parent company of Snapchat, unveiled a new version of its smart sunglasses, which records bursts of videos. It is a slightly smaller, water-resistant pair of sunglasses. The company released the first version in 2016 in stand-alone vending machines called Snapbots. Over 220,000 were sold, though many of them didn’t make it off the shelf.

The new Spectacles look incredibly similar to Snap’s original glasses- Snap chat version 1.0- and are sold through vending machines at launch. You can’t buy the new pair at a vending machine stand— only at Snapchat’s own website, Spectacles.com— but they offer a few new features that the original pair never had.

Here’s a quick overview of the features:

  • You can take pictures with the new Spectacles. The original version only recorded video. That’s a plus.
  • The new Spectacles are water-resistant up to 1 meter deep and for about 30 minutes at a time, according to a spokesperson. That makes sense for a pair of sunglasses that you’d ideally like to wear to the pool or beach.
  • The hardware is of higher quality. All images and videos are captured in HD and Snapchat added a second speaker to the glasses to pick up more audio. The company also says you can transfer videos and pictures to your phone up to four times faster than the original pair.
  • There are new colors: onyx (black), ruby (red) and sapphire (blue), as well as new lenses. The colors aren’t as bright as the original version, which might make them more appealing to people who want to wear glasses without being quite so loud about it.

The new model also comes in more colours and a smaller charging case. The frame itself looks the same apart from the fact that the garish yellow circles which surrounded the camera and light circle above the lenses have been replaced by quieter colours which match the frames.

How it works

While shooting or recording using the smart sunglasses,  the light circle which is located at the top part of the sunglasses would blink.  This would serve as an indicator to the person you’re recording, so there’s no covert filming.

To make a video, press the trigger on the left side of the spectacles. The video starts recording while the circle whirls round.

To take a picture, press and hold the trigger. The light quickly flashes to show you’ve taken your shot.

However,  when you are recording with the smartphone app, the mechanics are the other way round. Just pressing the circle on your Snapchat screen would take a photo, while a long-press on the circle would record a video.

The built-in  Wi-Fi feature on the spectacles ensures that the transfer of  photos and videos are done smoothly, fast and the best part is, they are always in HD. The images and videos recorded are in a strange circular format, but this means you can rotate the phone when you’re viewing what you’ve shot, which is quite entertaining.

The new Spectacles, which is sold at £149.99 and $150 for US buyers (a little more than the previous version, which was £129.99). This time around, there will be no Snapbots vending machines selling them, which may mean Snap can assess the demand and inventory more accurately from the spectacles website.

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