eaders in augmented reality Snap, have stepped outside of AR applications for smartphones and are now developing augmented reality glasses, beating to market a rumoured product from Apple.
On Thursday, Snapchat creators introduced the company’s first AR smart glasses called Spectacles. Snap has previously released camera-embedded sunglasses under the same name.
However, the new Spectacles aren't ready for consumers yet, before they are ready for market Snap is making the AR glasses available to software developers to see what sorts of applications they can create with them. The same approach Apple is expected to take with its first augmented reality smart glasses.
Snap stated that its new Spectacles feature dual 3D waveguide displays with a 26.3-degree diagonal field of view. The headset has two built-in cameras, four microphones and two stereo speakers. Additionally, the glasses have touch pad, voice and gesture controls. Spectacles utilise the Qualcomm (QCOM) Snapdragon XR1 Platform for processing. However, the new Spectacles only provide 30 minutes of augmented reality experience per charge.
Snap revealed its fourth-generation Spectacles at its virtual Partner Summit for developers. At the event, Snap also previewed a number of new augmented reality features for Snapchat which has over 200 million daily users.
ARtillery Intelligence research analyst, Mike Boland, wrote in a recent blog post that Snap is taking an open approach to developing AR glasses. It releases experimental products and then learns from user behavior and developer activity.
"This is the anti-Apple approach," Boland said. "Secrecy in hardware is in Apple's DNA, and its much-rumored AR glasses are no different."
Last month, Taiwan-based DigiTimes reported that Apple has fallen behind in its development of augmented reality glasses. It said Apple hoped to release the headset next year. That product could combine virtual reality with augmented reality, analysts say.