Snapchat creator Snap, Inc. is taking another shot at Spectacles, the company’s sunglasses that double as a wearable camera. The first iteration of the social gadget created a strong buzz before it faded away as owners stopped using them. The updated version is slightly more expensive but addresses many of the issues that caused the fizzle, such as a slimmer design, faster transfer speeds, and resistance to water.
Snap introduced the new Spectacles V2 in a brief blog post and video on the company’s website Thursday while also putting the new glasses in the hands of several tech outlets. CEO Evan Spiegel explained to Wired how the company is trying to turn itself into a software and hardware company from the bottom up by allowing both sides to develop independently.
“We decouple them so that they’re all allowed to develop on their own until they come together,” Spiegel said. “Over the next decade or so, the way that these pieces fit together will probably be what defines our company.”
Spectacles are on sale now with a starting price of $149.99 and a choice between three colors. This package includes the glasses and a recharging case that charge the gadget up to four times before needing to be recharged itself. Battery life is approximately the same, with users being able to record up to 70 videos on a single charge.
Snapchat installed on an Android or iOS devices is required once again, along with the transfer method of connecting the device to a Spectacles WiFi network. However, the notable improvements start here as footage and images are transferred in HD by default and are three to four times faster, according to the Verge.
The new Spectacles still come with the same unique styling as before, but have been described by those who have tried them as looking less toy like. This is thanks to a slimmer design and the removal of yellow rings around the lenses. Additionally, the glasses are thinner which also cuts down the size of the charging case.
Users will be able to capture photos in 1642 x 1642 resolution by pressing and holding the button on the glasses. Quick video clips are still captured by tapping the button and see their resolution bumped up to 1216 x 1216. Snap has also improved sound quality capture by adding a second microphone to record sounds away from the wearer better.
Finally, the Spectacles can now be taken around water. The electronics of the glasses have been made waterproof, so it can be taken around beaches, pools, water parks, and other potentially wet places where wearers might want to capture video.
It will be interesting to see if and how the response differs with Spectacles V2. Snap is already planning a more expensive and “more ambitious” version of the glasses for next year, according to sources with Cheddar. The next iteration will potentially have a price tag of $300 and sport two cameras to create 3D-like depth effects in videos.