Snap launches augmented reality glasses: only for a few developers, ordinary users have to wait 10 years

According to reports, the American social media service Snap became the first top technology company to launch augmented reality glasses, entering this new generation of computing platform before Facebook and Apple.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel (Evan Spiegel) announced that his company has developed a smart glasses called Spectacles that can superimpose an augmented reality filter on the real image the wearer sees, which is what they call Lens.

“There is no other company that makes this kind of product in our way and form.” He said in an interview with the media. “I don’t think people thought we could go so far. Other products at this stage are like helmets.”

This augmented reality glasses is initially only available to some developers and creators who use Snapchat’s social media applications. It is equipped with two small cameras and 4 embedded microphones so that users can take short videos of what they see and send them to others.

In terms of size and weight, these glasses are far better than existing “mixed reality” devices such as Microsoft Hololens or Magic Leaps. Social media giant Facebook said last year that it would cooperate with Ray-Ban’s parent company Luxottica to develop the company’s first “smart glasses”, but it is not equipped with a display that can view augmented reality effects. Apple’s “highly anticipated” smart glasses will not be released until next year at the earliest.

The plan disclosed by Facebook shows that users need to use a bracelet to control the augmented reality experience, while Snap’s product is a stand-alone glasses that can be controlled with voice commands and gestures without the need for additional controllers.

“We think the allure of Spectacles is that it enables a more natural way of interacting with the computer. Other products tend to add more things on your hands or feet, which will destroy your seamless interaction with the world. Sight or feeling.” Spiegel said, “We pay more attention to using the built-in technology of Spectacles to avoid letting people wear anything.”

This device weighs 134 grams and has a built-in battery that can last about 30 minutes. Although the product highlights Snap’s long-term ambitions, it is only released in a limited edition, and the detailed price has not yet been disclosed.

Spiegel refused to share a detailed timetable for the smart glasses strategy, only saying: “It will take another 10 years to truly become a widely popular consumer product.”

The ultimate goal of Snap is to replace PC keyboards and smartphone touch screens, and provide people with a more “natural” way of computing.

“Once you let augmented reality break through the limitations of mobile phones, it will feel completely different.” Spiegel said. “I think this is an exciting advancement in the computing industry because you don’t have to force people to change their behaviors to adapt to technology and technology. Equipment, but can change equipment and technology to adapt them to the way humans interact.”

Snap launches augmented reality glasses: only for a few developers, ordinary users have to wait 10 years

Snap, Facebook, and Apple all hope to break through the ceiling of the Google Glass industry. The latter was released about 10 years ago and attracted a large number of fans, but its development was hindered by privacy concerns.

The original version of Spectacles was released in 2016. At that time, it was just a sunglasses with a built-in camera that could shoot and share videos, but it failed to arouse the popularity of teenagers and millennial users. In 2017, the company edited nearly $40 million in Spectacles inventory and accessories. Since then, the company seems to have begun to shift more energy to the commercialization of its core social media and messaging services, vigorously develop its advertising business, and attract influential individuals and institutions to the Snapchat platform.

At the streaming media conference held on Thursday, Snap also announced several other products, hoping to provide online shopping convenience to its more than 500 million monthly active users. These include the launch of AR tools that allow users to scan other people’s clothing to get purchase recommendations for similar clothing, and they can also “try on” clothing and accessories directly in the Snapchat app.

Snap’s stock price rose 6% after the announcement, reaching $57.

The cost of developing consumer hardware is much higher than that of mobile applications. But Spiegel said it is too early to discuss Spectacles’ financial goals.

“Thinking about profit first and then refining the user experience is contrary to our previous business development model.” He said, “Now it is clear that if you want to promote software development, you must try hardware products. This is the current trend. “

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