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  • - It's been three years since the first version

  • of Snapchat Spectacles,

  • and that first edition had a lot of buzz

  • but it didn't sell too many units.

  • Last year, a second version kind of came and went.

  • Now Snap is back with Spectacles 3.

  • It's a redesigned, more powerful

  • and much pricier take on wearable computing.

  • These things cost three hundred and eighty dollars,

  • up from a hundred and fifty dollars for Spectacles 2.

  • Snap says they're intended

  • for a more fashion forward and creative audience,

  • but what can these things actually do

  • and who should really buy them?

  • (funky music)

  • So let's start with the design.

  • Compared to Spectacles 2,

  • which looked a lot like a toy,

  • Spectacles 3 feels much more serious.

  • They come in just two colors,

  • black and a kind of tan that Snap calls mineral.

  • And they have a new steel frame.

  • I find that the steel frame isn't super comfortable,

  • particularly over a long period of time.

  • There's something that would just kind of

  • dig into various parts of my head

  • as I was walking around town with them.

  • And as far as the design,

  • it might just be a little too fashion forward,

  • at least for me.

  • There's something about this giant steel bar

  • running across the top of my forehead

  • that feels a little bit insect like or maybe even alien.

  • Now let's talk abut the tech in Spectacles 3.

  • The big marquee feature this year is a second camera,

  • and what that second camera means

  • is that Spectacles can sense depth for the first time.

  • So Spectacles now have a bunch of filters

  • that kind of integrate the real world with Snap's.

  • For example, there's one filter that puts hearts everywhere

  • and as you're walking through the video,

  • those hearts will kind of bounce off you.

  • There's another flower filter that projects flowers

  • onto the ground and the shape kind of changes

  • with the topography.

  • When I talked with Snap's CEO, Evan Spiegel,

  • about Spectacles recently,

  • he told me he saw them as a breakthrough for the company

  • because it's the first time that Snap has been able

  • to integrate computing with the real world.

  • Unfortunately, though, that integration

  • is only happening after the fact.

  • I can't put on my Spectacles and just see Snap filters

  • over layed on top of the world.

  • Instead, I have to open my phone,

  • import Snaps from my glasses to the phone,

  • and only then can I tap the edit button

  • and start swiping through the filters.

  • It's just a couple more steps

  • than it feels like it should take.

  • So there are gonna be about 10 of these filters

  • available at launch that are exclusive to Spectacles 3,

  • and I'd say that none of them

  • has that immediate iconic appeal

  • of past hit Snapchat filters,

  • like the dancing hot dog or the gender swap.

  • But Snap is gonna let independent developers

  • build their own filters that incorporate depth perception,

  • and it'll be interesting to see what they come up with.

  • In the meantime, though, it feels mostly like a novelty.

  • Spectacles 3 can use the second camera in another way,

  • and it's by taking what Snap calls 3D photos.

  • So you put on your Spectacles,

  • you press and hold one of these camera buttons

  • and it will capture a sort of three-dimensional image

  • of the world around you.

  • Once you've done that, you can build this cardboard viewer

  • that is included with Spectacles 3,

  • slide a phone in and then kind of click through

  • all of the 3D photos that you've taken.

  • It's sort of similar

  • to one of those old View-Master gadgets,

  • and it's based on previous things

  • like Google Cardboard or Gear VR.

  • It's a somewhat novel way of looking through images,

  • but I don't know if, at this point,

  • it's much more than a novelty.

  • I think Spectacles 3 are a meaningful iteration

  • of a product that is only going to get better over time.

  • At the same time, they're definitely a product

  • that most people shouldn't buy.

  • So why does Snap keeping making these?

  • I asked Evan Spiegel that, and he was up front with me.

  • He said that he thinks that these kind of AR glasses

  • aren't gonna hit mainstream adoption for 10 years.

  • He says there are just too many constraints

  • on the hardware that we have.

  • But Snap thinks it's important to iterate in public.

  • Every time it releases another generation of Spectacles,

  • it's able to learn from its community, get feedback,

  • and then incorporate that into the next edition.

  • With Spectacles 3, for the first time Snap is integrating

  • its computing into the real world.

  • It's opening up that tool for developers,

  • and it's going to learn a bunch.

  • I don't think it's going to sell a lot Spectacles 3,

  • but I do think that what it learns

  • is gonna make Spectacles 4 a much more interesting product.

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- It's been three years since the first version

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Snap Spectacles 3 review: here we go again

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/10/24
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