Hot on the tail of Niantic teasing a pair of AR glasses earlier this week, a new report from The Information says the company is readying a pair of its Spectacles glasses with proper AR functionality.

Snapchat has been selling its Spectacles camera-glasses since 2016. Now on its third generation, the Spectacles glasses capture video from a first person perspective, but don’t actually include a display; the video captured has to be played back on a smartphone or elsewhere and the user can add Snapchat AR filters after the fact.

Now the company is preparing to launch a proper AR version of its Spectacles glasses, according to a report by The Information citing sources ‘familiar with the company’s plans.’

Snapchat’s Spectacles 3 are sleek camera-glasses, but lack displays. Adding them, and the sensors required for true AR functionality, will require significantly more bulk | Image courtesy Snapchat

The Spectacles AR glasses are said to initially be targeted toward developers, which the company hopes will build filters and other applications ahead of an eventual consumer offering.

Snapchat has been steadily moving toward head-worn AR with its Spectacles camera-glasses alongside AR face filters and ‘World Lenses’ which place AR effects into the world. In 2019 the company announced plans to raise $1 billion to continue its focus on the content, gaming, and AR features of its platform.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
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    How hard is it to actually make a 6doF version of the NReals? I feel like as long as the smart aspects of this at least don’t turn with your head, they could be appealing. Obviously the ideal would be running the filters over what you see but I would be amazed if they pull that off.

  • Seems like they are batting WAY outside their league. Dedicated companies with serious know-how are finding AR difficult and bulky. And these “Spectacles” Snapchat already have look cheaper and uglier then the Chinese versions I’ve seen, so that doesn’t bode well for their ability to suddenly become “cutting edge” in the world of AR.

    It would seem like their best bet is to pair up with a company like those shysters in Magic Leap. They at least have a *sorta* working pair of AR specs now, with the potential of making better ones in the future. Or sell their tech to Microsoft, should Microsoft *EVER* get serious about making consumer AR happen. ($1500 is not serious, $300 is serious)

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  • Until now Spectacles have been a disaster, but Snap is one of the few companies that have an expertise in AR that can compete with the one of Facebook