After several iterations of the product, Snap is focused on making sure the world knows that its smartglasses can be fashionable.
This week, during a private event at Art Basel Miami Beach 2019, Snapchat's parent company pulled the curtain up on its limited-edition Spectacles x Gucci by Harmony Korine, designed by the fashion brand specifically for the art exhibition.
The Gucci edition of Spectacles 3 follows the Korine-designed Gift Giving campaign for the brand, which included an AR experience via Snapchat back in November. You may know the director from his films Kids, Gummo, and Spring Breakers.
Only 50 units of this edition of Spectacles are available at Art Basel. Snap Lab worked with Gucci and Korine on the design of the glasses, which are hand-painted with colors featured in in Korine's work. In addition, the charging case for the glasses features Korine's character, Twitchy.
Taking a cue from Apple's Shot on iPhone ad series, Snap also debuted Duck Duck, a short film shot by Korine with Spectacles 3 and including 3D effects available via Snapchat that demonstrate the creative capacity of the wearable's 3D camera. Miami itself, particularly the Wynwood Graffiti wall in the Design District and the Art Deco architecture of South Beach, serves as the setting of the film.
"Both Harmony Korine and Spectacles are helping push the boundaries of immersive storytelling," said Steen Strand, director of hardware for Spectacles, in a statement. "With the ability to capture depth like your own two eyes, Spectacles 3 brings Harmony Korine's unique vision for Duck Duck to life, showing how this new technology can inform the future of creative storytelling."
While the average consumer won't be able to get their hands on a pair, they can try on a virtual pair via a Lens accessible using the Snapcode below or buy the off-the-shelf version of Spectacles 3, which are for sale starting at $380.
"Spectacles 3 is a completely unique format that shifted my perspective on film, narrative, what's animated and what's real," said Korine in a statement. "By combining a first-person point of view and 3D Effects, the sunglasses inhabit their own hyper-personal universe, and helped inspire the multi-sensory experience of Duck Duck - like you can walk into this world when you watch it."
Even without Spectacles 3, Snapchat users can take advantage of the new 3D Camera Mode on iPhones with the TrueDepth front-facing camera to take their stab at Korine's storytelling approach.
In addition, Snap and Gucci have collaborated with three sets of creators to publish 3D effects built via Lens Studio. The AR experiences will be available to Spectacles 3 users starting Dec. 6.
The tech industry has long sought to leverage the credibility of the fashion industry to convince consumers and observers that smartglasses can be cool. Google tried it with a version of Glass designed by Diane von Furstenberg. Magic Leap took its turn on the catwalk via a fashion show with Moschino and H&M in New York and an appearance at London Fashion Week.
While Spectacles 3 aren't AR smartglasses per se, the product is definitely a step in that direction. So, it makes sense for Snap to get a headstart on convincing the world that its wearables are the future of fashionable tech.