Snapchat’s new smart sunglasses, Snapchat Spectacles, are the hottest gadget in town. It’s probably the first wearable designed specifically for the Snapchat generation. They’re also in incredibly short supply and only available through special robot vending machines. Which is why we had to tear one down.
Snapchat Spectacles, which arrived on the social media landscape a little more than a week ago, let you Snap videos from your point of view. They’re essentially life-casters for the teen-set.
Unlike previous wearable glasses, Spectacles look, more or less, like hipster sunglasses. Snapchat did all it could to hide the technology away. The only indications that there’s something else afoot here are the two yellow circles on either side of the sunglasses. One houses the video camera and the other a circle of LEDs that make it clear to others when Spectacles are filming.
Inside, though, are tiny motherboards, chips, batteries, memory and wires. My job was to reveal it all to you.
With the exception of the screws in the hinges holding on the temple stems, there are no visible screws on Snapchat Spectacles. They’re so well crafted that it took me a while to find any seams in the plastic casing. Eventually I found a pair of them, right where each side of the Spectacles was bulkiest: directly behind the camera and directly behind the LED lights.
What follows is my step-by-step deconstruction of Snapchat’s first wearable technology. Wherever possible, I’ve tried to identify the components.