According to a source at TechCrunch, a new version of Snap's 'Spectacles' could include augmented reality.
A while back, we reported that Snapchat might have been quietly developing augmented reality glasses, as seen on the CEO while out and about. However, these glasses turned out to be Snapchat's Spectacles, which had not included augmented reality features. The Spectacles were originally designed to be video-recording glasses and went on sale last November for $129.99. It was innovative in that it let users take pictures and video and send it to their Snapchats from their glasses. It was not a huge commercial hit, as it garnered little publicity and has not been widely seen in the mainstream. However, now Snapchat seems to finally be including augmented reality in the next generation of this product, and it could prove to be the boost that the Spectacles need in order to sell.
The information comes from an inside source that says the company is closely guarding this secret, only letting 1,800 of their employees in on the production as of now. Major speculation also arose from a leaked Snap patent application for AR glasses. TechCrunch's source says that the second version of Spectacles is going to be "quite different" than the first version.
Augmented reality, of course, is a huge difference.
This wouldn't be Snap's first run with augmented reality. Recently, Snapchat users have begun to see augmented reality in a feature called 'World Lenses', which started appearing in April. These filters allow users to change the world around them with 3D emojis, stickers, and moving objects that can be found in the rear camera. Unlike Snapchat's famous face filters and masks, these objects act like an object in real life that users can move around while the object stays fixed in place.
These reports are backed by Snapchat's other goals to develop new hardware. They are not only considering augmented reality Spectacles, but the patent reveals that they are also thinking about an augmented reality helmet and an augmented reality visor. Additionally, they have been rumored to be considering developing a 360-degree camera.
While nothing has been released about what the augmented reality feature could include in the new Spectacles, the 2015 patent application could give us an idea. It says that Snap plans to use dual-glass to sense a user's location and beam objects of their choice into their space. This kind of technology could potentially help Snapchat's floundering market and boost them to get the upper hand on their biggest competitor, Facebook's Instagram.