Snapchat parent company Snap may finally be taking the big step into the fully-functioning augmented reality wearables realm with the next iteration of its Spectacles devices.
The first two generations of Spectacles functioned merely as face-mounted cameras, but Spectacles 3 came with dual cameras capable of recording depth. As a result, users can add 3D effects from Snapchat Lenses to their videos, making the devices proto-smartglasses, if you will.
Now, after flirting with the prospect of smartglasses, Snap appears to be ready to evolve Spectacles into legitimate smartglasses with mounted displays for projecting AR content.
Following in the footsteps of Magic Leap and Nreal, the device is expected to be marketed towards developers and creators, namely those creating Lenses via Lens Studio, rather than the consumer segment as a means for catalyzing an ecosystem of content.
Snap CEO and Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel has been vocal about his outlook for smartglasses, but he has previously projected the event horizon for the consumer market as being eight years down the road. However, a developer edition also fits his prescribed strategy, where Snap and its creator community can build on the foundation of smartglasses experiences together.
With Apple reportedly readying its first AR wearable, Facebook making its own intentions to build smartglasses, and now Niantic teasing its entry into the fray, Snap could very well beat them all to the punch, even if its first approach is experimental rather than practical.