Snap Bringing Back Wearable Tech With Possibly Augmented Reality Glasses

June 15, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

For a while, it almost looked like wearable tech was about to go the way of the dodo. Little more than a mild curiosity, some of the greatest companies on Earth took a run at wearables and came up noticeably lacking. Now, Snap’s taking a run at it with its latest version of Spectacles, a video-enabled system that will potentially offer new augmented reality capability.

Snap has been working on wearable tech for some time now, going back to its first version of the Spectacles release. Now, with the new version that’s said to be in the works, some are pointing to a recently-discovered patent filing from Snap which incorporates elements of augmented reality operation.

That could be a big deal going forward, especially given what’s known so far about Snap’s operations. Snap has been eagerly working with mobile devices’ cameras, and has been working hard to change the nature of social media as we know it today. Apart from that, details are slim on the ground, and Snap has been playing all of its cards close to the vest.

This is a dangerous game for Snap. On the one hand, several have tried to make advances in the wearable space, including Google. Most such efforts have failed, with even Google pulling back on Glass to restrict it to more of a work tool. Users reported outright hostility toward Glass wearers, who resented being followed around with a device that could have been a recorder.

On the other, however, there are a lot of reasons to use augmented reality. From eye-level driving directions—forget “distracted driving”; augmented reality driving directions could have been even less distracting than a standard GPS because the directions appeared right in your frame of view, ensuring not a moment’s glance off the road—to providing new information about products from a central viewing port, it could have been huge if used properly.

The notion that a shopper could walk into a store, look at an item, see its average product review and compare prices from data literally floating in front of their eyes is incredibly powerful. That could make Snap a force to be reckoned with going forward, but it’s going to have to beat a whole lot of backlash just to get off the ground.