Snapchat Reveals Next-Gen AR Glasses, But There’s A Catch

The popular multimedia messaging app announced a slew of exciting features during its third annual Snap Partner Summit.

Earlier today, Snap Inc. held its third annual Snap Partner Summit, during which co-founders Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and other members of the team revealed a handful of exciting features on their way to the Snapchat app.

Among today’s many announcements were several updates to the app’s Scan and Camera tools, including new shortcuts located directly on the main camera screen which make it easier to access these increasingly powerful features. Beginning today, the Snapchat app can now recommend related camera modes, Lenses, and soundtracks depending on what the camera is looking at. Additional new features, such as Screenshop, allows you to scan real-world clothing to receive recommendations from hundreds of brands. Upcoming features, such as Allrecipes, will take the experience even further by allowing you to scan real-world food in order to receive specific recipes.

Today’s event also saw the reveal of various updates to Lens Studio, a free desktop app that allows you to create your own Lenses and effects with little-to-know developer experience. This includes Connected Lenses, a new type of Lens that allows you to interact with other users in real-time, whether you’re located in the same room or across the world. To help demonstrate the power of Connected Lenses, Snap Inc. has released a LEGO-like brick-building Lens, enabling you to create colorful structures with others in augmented reality (AR).

Arguably the most exciting announcement from today’s event, however, is the all-new Snap Spectacles. Designed specifically for Snap creators, these lightweight glasses are capable of generating AR visuals in real-time. Using the companies proprietary Snap Spatial Engine, these AR-enabled smart glasses feature dual 3D waveguide displays, a 26.3-degree field of view, two RGB cameras, four built-in microphones, and two stereo speakers.

Image Credit: Snap Inc.

The device itself is controlled via a dedicated touchpad mounted directly onto the glasses themselves, allowing users to launch different Lenses from the carousel as well as activate the Scan tool. Users can also use Voice Scan to search for and launch Lenses straight from the headset. Everything you know and love about the app is present on these next-gen glasses, including 6DoF movement and hand, body, and surface tracking.

Powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon XR1 processor, the new Spectacles weigh just 134 grams and offer 30 minutes of action per charge; not bad for a dedicated AR device with such a slim design. Seeing as the glasses were built specifically with creators in mind, the new Spectacles can be tethered wirelessly to Lens Studio, allowing for more seamless testing.

Sounds a little too good to be true, right? Well, that’s only because it is. Unfortunately, the latest Snapchat Spectacles will not be available for consumer purchase. Rather, the company is working directly alongside the following Snap creators in order to further test the technology:

  • Don Allen Stevenson III | XR Developer | Vibe Quest AR  
  • Lauren Cason | Creative Technologist | Taos, Caldera, and Anita 
  • Kat V. Harris | Technical Designer | Dance Helper 
  • Zach Lieberman | Artist | Poem World (with Shantell Martin)  
  • Matthew Hallberg | AR Developer | SketchFlow 
  • Clay Weishaar | AR Creator | Metascapes 
  • Leighton McDonald | VR/AR Creator | BlackSoul Gallery 
Image Credit: Snap Inc.

Those interested in going hands-on can learn more about the program over at

For more information on the hardware as well as today’s other announcements, check out the companies official release.

Feature Image Credit: Snap Inc.

About the Scout

Former Writer (Kyle Melnick)

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