Snap CEO Evan Spiegel unveiled the company's latest Spectacles during the Snap's partner summit Thursday. The device is being positioned as the company's first foray into AR wearables, but it's still very much an experiment: Snap's AR Spectacles aren't for sale, but are instead being made available to select creators on an invite-only basis.
Snap's AR Spectacles are equipped with two RGB cameras, four microphones, and touchpads for tactile control. The device's waveguide displays promise up to 2,000 nits of brightness and just 15ms of latency.
The biggest downsides: AR Spectacles come with a very small 26.3-degree diagonal field of view, which basically displays stamp-size AR experiences. As a comparison, Microsoft's latest Hololens has a diagonal field of view of 52 degrees. The battery life of the device is also notably low, with Snap CEO Evan Spiegel saying that they will allow creators to experience AR for "approximately 30 minutes" per session.
Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.