The augmented reality smartglasses future that Snap founder Evan Spiegel has teased for so long may be closer than many realize.
On Tuesday, just days after the departure of Snap's vice president of content, a source claims that the company will release a new, AR-powered version of its Spectacles wearable product by the end of this year.
The new version of Spectacles is code-named Newport and will feature two cameras that will allow the wearable to create AR content, according to a report from financial news network Cheddar.
A source in contact with the network claims that the new cameras on Spectacles will allow users to use Snap's "AR Lenses and create 3D-like photo effects from footage taken by the Spectacles."
Along with the additional camera, the device will reportedly be made of aluminum and cost around $350, a steep jump from the current $200 price tag on the latest version of Spectacles.
If true, the release would come just a few months after the release of Snap's Veronica and Nico versions of Spectacles, two new styles that do away with the original frame design and look more like normal, fashion-focused shades.
Although Snap hasn't confirmed the report, it would fall in line with Spiegel's stated vision of aggressively tackling the AR space by moving beyond the smartphone and into the wearable space.
So far, it appears that Apple may still be at least a year or two away from releasing its own AR smartglasses, but startups like North have already launched low-level/high-style smartglasses stores in major cities.
And while North's Focals device is more of a heads-up display that functions as a notification tool, the fact that we now have at least one fashion-centric smartglasses brand on the market is likely putting pressure on companies like Snap. Rather than wait until 2019, it's possible that Snap will begin rolling out whatever it has ready to offer soon, or risk being seen as late to market as others court the mainstream with a new kind of wearable.