Here’s our first look and impressions with Snap’s new Spectacles sunglasses. The previous version was released a year ago, but Snap, parent company of Snapchat, is back with the second generation, trying to get people to put cameras on their face.
All things considered, version 2 is a very cautious update, tweaking the design slightly to be less obvious. The biggest change to the glasses comes in the form of adding water resistance. You can now bring them in the pool, rain, and generally anywhere you’d wear sunglasses. You no longer have to worry about getting them wet.
The sunglasses with a built in camera still work the same as before. Hit the button, record a short video and share it to Snapchat or export it other places.
- Colors – new colors for the glasses and multiple choices for lens.
- Water resistant – Don’t call it waterproof! But they should be fine anywhere you’d wear regular sunglasses, i.e. pool, beach, rain.
- Pictures – Beyond just 10 or 60 second videos, you can now snap pictures with the glasses.
Version 2 can store up to 3,000 pictures or 150 hours of video and comes with a battery case (a bit thinner overall) to give the glasses four, full additional charges.
Is it worth it to wear a camera on your face?
After a weekend with the new Spectacles, this new version really does address some of the roadblocks that prevented version 1 from becoming more successful.
No one seemed to notice that my sunglasses had a camera in them. No strange looks or questions. The removal of the yellow ring around the camera lens is likely the most helpful in this regard.
Even my kids were surprised and a bit confused at how I had taken video of us playing kickball at the park because they hadn’t seen me take out my phone at all. The action of tapping a button on your sunglasses is subtle enough to go unnoticed.
These new glasses will be fun to use in water, throughout the summer. The water resistance should open up more opportunities you’d naturally want to capture memories, but usually not have your phone readily available.
One of the phrases printed on the Spectacles container is “Share your perspective” and I think that’s the potential Spectacles have always held. It’s fun to have a video of exactly what you experienced without a visible camera present. Even after just a short time with version 2, I do think Snap is onto something here and smart for updating the original glasses.