Snap Inc, the company behind Snapchat, has announced its 4th generation glasses. While previous generations included only first-person cameras, the 4th generation glasses were the company’s first to include an AR display that tracks the world in real time.
Also, unlike previous versions of the glasses, the 4th generation is not currently available for sale. Snap is positioning this version of the AR glasses as a developer kit.
Unlike Microsoft’s or Magic Leap’s approach, which provided more functionality at the expense of a bulky device, Snap takes a “form over function” approach. The company favors a practical design that consumers would find sensible, even if it means reducing some of the device’s capabilities.
Features of the 4th generation of Snapchat Spectacles:
|Field of view||26.3° diagonal|
|Tracking||Built-in, no external base stations|
|Built-in cameras||2x RGB|
|Input devices||Touch pad, voice, hand tracking|
As you can see, the sacrifices to achieve this lightweight form factor were quite substantial. Notable is the small field of view diagonally-26.3°. To give an idea of the loss let’s note that the small field of view is one of the main complaints made about the HoloLens 2 only 52° diagonally.
As for creating content for the 4th generation glasses, Snap is of course relying on its Lens Studio software, which has long allowed developers to create AR experiences for use on Snapchat.
According to information from Wired, Snap plans to send about 1,000 of its AR glasses to developers.