Snapchat—newly renamed Snap Inc.—has people scrambling across the country after mysteriously appearing vending machines to buy technology that’s been available to private eyes for years:Spectacles. Press the button on the rim to record. Video clips are sent to your phone’s Snapchat app, where you can decide to share or save them. Just one tap and you’re capturing life from your point of view.
Weeks after they were introduced to the world, people have started investigating ways to hack their new Snapchat Spectacles. YouTube vlogger Jesse Wellens, he places black tape over the LED lights at the top corner of the glasses that indicate the device is filming. He floats around Venice Beach wearing the sunglasses, casually recording his interactions with unaware friends and bystanders.Other users have altered the smart glasses to go undercover. YouTuber and tech blogger Keaton Keller pulled off the same electrical tape trick, while also spray-painting the glasses Snapchat yellow for good measure.
Specs, like any sunglasses, you slide them over your face when you go outside. When you see something interesting, tap the button near your left temple to snap a 10-second video of the scene. (A small light shines while you’re recording, to prevent spying.) Later on, look at Snapchat on your phone to view, share, caption, draw on or otherwise edit the clips you’ve captured from your Specs. With this glasses you can snap a memorable moment without ever leaving the moment. Your eyes are your viewfinder; just reach up and tap, and whatever you look at is recorded.
The glasses sell for $130 with grainy video quality, though totally fine for sharing on Snapchat. You can’t take still images at all. Luckily, when you’re just out shooting, they don’t need your phone nearby to work. They come with a charging case made of delightfully tactile, grippy material (you can shoot about 100 clips per charge). And the lenses are mirrored, so you can see yourself when you turn the Specs around for selfies.
The glasses are also severely limited in supply — at this point the only way to get Spectacles is to find and wait in line at one of the pop-up vending machines that Snap is setting up around the country, or buy them at a premium from someone who has spent a long time waiting.
Specs first look:
And what’s inside Snapchat Spectacles?