Snap recently unveiled its first AR glasses, which the company thinks will be as universal as mobile phones. A demo of the AR glasses showed virtual butterflies over colorful plants.
The new AR glasses have dual waveguide displays that can superimpose augmented reality effects with Snapchat’s software. The glasses have 4 in-built microphones, one built-in touchpad, and 2 stereo speakers.
Front-facing cameras help the AR glasses detect surfaces and objects the user is looking at so that graphics can naturally interact with the real environment around the user.
The AR glasses are not yet ready for the consumer market. The company at the moment is giving these glasses directly to a small group of augmented reality effects creators.
The plan is to encourage a small group of AR experts in Snapchat to test with creating AR experiences for the new glasses. According to the company CEO, Spiegel, the AR glasses will take around ten years to reach mainstream adoption.
“I don’t believe the phone is going away. I just think that the next generation of Spectacles can help unlock a new way to use AR hands-free, and the ability to really roam around with your eyes looking up at the horizon, out at the world.” – Evan Spiegel, CEO, Snap.
While Snap is known mainly for the Snapchat app, these AR glasses indicate how Snap’s goal is to be a significant player in the race to build augmented reality glasses.
Spiegel also stated that smart devices like the new AR glasses would significantly transform how people interact with computers. While, according to Snap, people will ultimately want to wear these AR glasses, the company is content, for now, to build it only for developers and testers.
“You have to invent a whole new way of interacting with computing when it’s volumetric and integrated with the space around you. So, I don’t see Snapchat transitioning to wearables that directly, but one of the things that’s really fun is to think about what the new interaction paradigms can look like.” – Evan Spiegel.
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