Mission

Versions is the essential guide to virtual reality and beyond. It investigates the rapidly deteriorating boundary between the real world and the one behind the screen. Versions launched in 2016 at the eponymous conference dedicated to creativity and VR with the New Museum’s incubator NEW INC.

Pitches, questions, and concerns can be directed to info@killscreen.com

We're always hiring and looking for new writers! For details, click here.

Kill Screen Versions The Meta

Snapchat is taking over the world, one AR lens and pair of smartglasses at a time

Snapchat is taking over the world, one AR lens and pair of smartglasses at a time

Spectacles are here. And so are new Snapchat World Lenses. So, Snapchat’s taking over the world. Or maybe not, since not everyone can get the former.

Spectacles, Snap Inc.’s highly anticipated smartglasses, are being dropped around the United States in a very hype-centric way: via vending machines, in one single location for 24 hours only. The “Snapbot” first popped up Thursday morning in Venice, California, where lines wrapped around blocks and lasted hours long. The glasses themselves cost around $130, plus tax, and people can buy only two at a time. That means on Ebay they’re selling for well over $500. Because that’s how life is with luxury goods in limited quantities.

World Lenses embellish the world around you

Spectacles are stylish, at least. There’s a small camera on the outskirts of the frames which film circularly-framed 10-second clips. The videos can either be shared on any social media with its rounded view—similar to what we see with our own eyes—or can be shared on Snapchat alone in a more traditional view, but with no regards to tilting. In this shareable form, shifting your phone from vertical to horizontal doesn’t change the image itself in, instead it allows you to see more of it.

snapbot
A snapbot… in a desert.

Spectacles, which are pairable with Snapchat of course, is only one fragment of Snap Inc. news from last week. Earlier in the week, Snapchat released World Lenses, which are essentially the same augmented reality filters you’d get with the front-facing camera, but now for things that aren’t your dog-eared selfie. Since this new AR doesn’t necessarily have to be mapped to a selfie, World Lenses instead opt to embellish the world around you. Rainbow clouds, rap-sampling reminiscent airhorns, faux-snow and all.

Where will the Snapbot land next? Stay tuned to Snap Inc.’s map to find out.

Header photo by Caty McCarthy.

Versions is brought to you by Nod Labs,
Precision wireless controllers for your virtual, augmented and actual reality.
More From Author