Snapchat Spectacles is the new wearable tech product from Snapchat. We explain what are Snapchat Spectacles and how to buy Snapchat Spectacles.
What are Snapchat Spectacles?
Snapchat Spectacles are one-size-fits-all sunglasses with built-in always-on cameras. They are available in Coral, Teal or Black.
Snapchat says they operate like any other sunglasses, and the lenses are not polarised. Also note that Spectacles are not waterproof, so don’t take them swimming!
By pressing a button on the front of the glasses you can record a 10-second stream of what you see with a 115-degree field of view; a second press will capture a 30-second stream. A ring of LEDs around the camera will let those around you know you are recording.
The resulting circular video streams are transferred wirelessly to Memories on Snapchat – using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth on an iPhone 5 or later running iOS 8+, and Wi-Fi on an Android 4.3+ device with BLE and Wi-Fi Direct.
Note that you do not need to have your phone handy to use Spectacles – they will sync next time you open Memories in the Snapchat app.
The Spectacles have a built-in battery that is recharged when they are stored in their case, with the LED ring again lighting up to indicate charging is in progress. A fully charged case should recharge Snapchat Spectacles four times. Once charged the Snapchat Spectacles should last for around 100 10-second videos.
Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s CEO, says they are intended as a toy and a bit of fun, but may help stop the social network’s users holding their phones “like a wall in front of their faces”.
Snapchat Spectacles price: How much are Snapchat Spectacles?
Snapchat’s Spectacles are currently on sale only in the US at $129.99 plus local tax, which equates to around £103.
They come with a one-year limited warranty, and a 30-day money back guarantee.
How to buy Snapchat Spectacles
Snapchat Spectacles are not sold online or instore, rather they are sold via pop-up vending machines that allow you to virtually try the sunglasses before paying for a pair with a debit- or credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover).
To operate the bot you press one of three large circular buttons to indicate your colour choice, and you can then virtually try them on onscreen. Insert a debit or credit card to purchase, then wait around 10 seconds for the transaction to complete. When the bot’s mouth lights up you can collect your Spectacles and your receipt.
The location of these pop-up vending machines is announced on the Snapchat Spectacles website 24 hours before it arrives.
Snapchat says a Spectacles Geofilter will also be available within the Snapchat app if one is nearby (you will need to ensure Location Services are enabled in order to see this).
Many of the Snapchat Spectacles that have been purchased so far are already finding their way on to eBay, where they are apparently reaching prices as high as $1,000.
Snapchat has not yet confirmed whether or not its Spectacles will be available to buy in the UK.