Snap Spectacles 3 review: Kinda ridiculous, kinda fun… but way too expensive

When I checked that first- and second generation Snap Spectacles, Augmented Reality glasses were still in their infancy: Google glasses had failed and HoloLens shifted more towards the company. Today’s AR landscape looks (and sounds) more diverse thanks to wearables like Focals by North. Amazon Echo Frames and Bose frames. Apple is straight According to rumors, work is being done on AR glasses. It’s not that strange to have a computer on your face anymore.

I run around Venice Beach wearing Spectacles 3, Snap’s latest sunglasses that capture photos and videos with depth information. Once I import the footage into Snapchat, I’ll put a 3D flying bird over the scene so that it looks like I’m chasing it down the street. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s also fun – a feeling that Spectacles 3 sums up perfectly in my opinion.

The flying bird in action.

Lexy Savvides / Tips Clear

As with regular Snapchat videos that you record on your phone, you can add them to it similar 3D elements 3 clips about your glasses, except that they respond better to what is actually in the frame thanks to a depth map. These 3D elements and filters can also affect the look of your video, such as: B. placing floating blobs in the scene or raining confetti.

Snap Spectacles 3 cannot display AR content over your field of view like some of the other glasses I mentioned earlier. However, it’s important to talk about this in this context because Snap will be directed to the same place, except that instead of text messages in front of your face, it might be rainbows, hearts, or other 3D objects overlaid on your world.

If you’re a huge Snapchatter, creator, or artist who loves the idea of ​​AR effects, Spectacles 3 might be well worth the effort. But pretty much everyone else has no reason to own a pair until they can do more.

Two cameras, but twice as expensive as the original

Let’s get the biggest elephant out of the way first: glasses 3 are expensive. At $ 380 (£ 330), they are unreachable for most Snapchatters. Snap knows this, which is why they are limited edition. (The company claims to have sold over 200,000 first generation glasses and version 3 will be just a fraction of that number.) You can purchase Glasses 3 through the glasses website and select US retailers like Neiman Marcus.

Even if you may not be using Snapchat, the app is insanely popular: as of July 2019, Snap cited 13 million new users jump on board; Another 7 million have signed up by October for a total of 210 million active users, according to Snap. That’s a lot of eyeballs that could potentially see the contents of Spectacles 3.

A retro-future design that applies to normal sunglasses

As with many regular sunglasses, you can adjust the nose pads and arms to better fit your face. Glasses 3 have a metal frame and are available in either black or gold. The frames themselves are pretty top heavy and take getting used to, especially if you’re not used to glasses with adjustable nose pads.

The design could also be polarizing – I would call the aesthetics future Art Deco. They work perfectly as sunglasses. I guess the lenses are a neutral shade of gray and don’t have the first generation reflective finish which looked a little weird. You can actually wear these as regular sunglasses without getting a fun look.

They look like normal sunglasses.

Angela Lang / Tips Clear

They come with a leather case that also charges them and a Google Cardboard-style viewer so you can review snaps in VR using your phone. You don’t have to use this headset to see your snaps (most of the time I just checked on my phone because it was a lot easier).

A still image captured on Spectacles 3 showing the 3D effect.

Lexy Savvides / Tips Clear

As with previous glasses, press one of the buttons on the temples to capture 10-second video recordings with sound, or press and hold to take a photo. These photos allow you to virtually move the camera from side to side for some sort of stereoscopic effect without having to show the headset. You can record longer video segments, up to 60 seconds at a time, by pressing the button in quick succession. There’s an LED light that rotates to let others know you’re recording and a little light on the inside does the same for you. The interior light can also flash different colors when you get a snapshot from a friend.

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