New glasses by Snap have on-board AR displays

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Snap, widely known for Snapchat, is also known for its Spectacles line of high-tech glasses that wearers can use to take photos and videos, even in 3D. Its newest addition to the line seeks to go even further than that, with fully integrated augmented reality (AR) tech.

Snap’s high-tech specs

Alongside a demo showing a virtual butterfly flitting about the Spectacles’ displays, Snap explained how their new glasses work. The Spectacles’s frames are kitted with four microphones, a touchpad, and a pair of stereo speakers, along with a pair of front facing cams used to examine what you’re looking at to better display the fancy AR stuff on it. The glasses themselves have “…dual 3D waveguide displays” capable of overlaying AR content over the real world scene you’re looking at.

You’ll have noticed from the header image that the Spectacles don’t look hugely stylish. That’s because they aren’t built for consumers (for now), they’re built for creators. See, these new specs come with a tied-in “Lens Studio” where creators can build their own complex and intricate effects and then boot them into the glasses to see how they turn out. Additionally, presumably because of all the power-hungry tech needed to create something like this, the battery only lasts half an hour, so there’s clearly some work that still needs to be done before these glasses are market-ready.

Snap’s utilizing a section of its own team that builds AR effects on Snapchat, like the ever-popular face-filters, to fiddle around and develop cool effects with the new Spectacles, according to The Verge. The company is also giving the glasses to other AR creators for them to try out.

There’s no news of any plans for a full release yet. Snap seems to be happy letting creators take the tech further for the time being.

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