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CEO Evan Spiegel executes on why Spectacles are a new type of camera

While mobile phones remain our primary computing device, the balance of power between social networks seems unlikely to shift too much in either direction. New devices have been in development for several years, but so far no one has been able to deliver anything like the iPod: a relatively inexpensive, beautifully designed and dramatically useful new gadget that is moving the way forward. A company that invents a similar product could dominate the next generation of computing technology in the way that Apple, Google and Facebook have dominated the current one.

Snap may have received the closest. Glasses, the company's sunglasses, have been the subject of intense buzz when they debuted in 201

7. And while other companies are working on their own version of augmented reality glasses, Snap continues to do its work publicly: launching a sequel to Spectacles last spring , and version 3 today.

I wrote about plays 3 in The Verge . This snippet, longer than usual, is why Snap believes they are a milestone.

Now Shows 3 has arrived, available exclusively from the Snap Show Online Store. They come with an impressive new design and a much higher price tag – $ 380, from $ 150 to $ 200 for the previous edition. (Shows 2 go on sale.) Snap says the changes reflect its intended audience for the new Spectacles: high fashion fans and artists who enjoy new creative tools. This is also a way to avoid another big profit: measuring demand carefully with one online store, then selling each unit at a price that allows the company to recover a larger share of its investment.

And Spectacles 3 is a highlight for the company otherwise, CEO Evan Spiegel also told me in a recent interview. Thanks to a second camera that allows the device to capture depth for the first time, Snap can now integrate its software into the real world using special filters that map the world captured in a video.

"What really excites this version is that since V3 has depth, we are beginning to really understand the world around you," Spiegel said. "So these augmented reality effects aren't just a 2D layer. It actually integrates calculations in the world around you. And that's where the real turning point is for me. ”

Spiegel plays a long game. He often says that AR glasses are unlikely to be a major phenomenon for another 10 years – today there are just too many hardware limitations. Available processors are simply moved from mobile phones; the displays are too hungry for power; the batteries run out too quickly.

But he sees a day in which these problems are solved and spectacles become the main way of interacting with the world. Spiegel says the glasses will be a pillar of the company for the next decade, along with Snapchat and Lens Studio, the company's tool for building AR effects.

"I think this is the first time we've brought all the pieces of our business together and really showed the power of creating these AR experiences at Lens Studio and deploying them through Spectacles," Spiegel said. "And to me, this is the bridge to the calculation of the overlay of the world."

In the following, I describe how this vision did not carry all the way to reality. The calculations are superimposed on the world only after you download the pictures on your phone and edit the effects in them. It's a cumbersome process and combined with the price tag of the new $ 380 glasses, it's hard for me to imagine the Spectacles 3 becoming a bestseller.

The whole industry is facing the technological challenges of making a good AR product, with Nick Wingfield and Alex Heath reporting in this good piece today in Information . Even Apple has no plans to release a pair of AR glasses until 2023, they said on Monday.

But Spiegel himself acknowledges in this passage that mass-market AR goggles can be a decade away. He is an underrated product thinker – and thanks to a better-than-expected year for Snap, an increasingly confident CEO. When he talks about AR glasses, he makes them inevitable in a way that his colleagues struggle to do, while being realistic about the state of the art.

Here's a snippet that didn't make it into the final piece. I complained that I had abandoned my previous glasses because of the friction associated with the transfer of shards from the glasses to the phone. Spiegel's answer contextualises the product for me – and the road to Snap – in a whole new way:

Evan Spiegel : The way I would think is in terms of how cameras have generally evolved over time . So if you look at the early cameras [usage of] it was very event based, right? Based on events, maybe even in the sense of, once in your life, right? And in the end, it was like a holiday. And then only in the last 10 years has this happened, I use my camera all day every day. So I think this is a very radical transition.

Glasses, as they are a new type of camera, are still event-based in use. Take a really great trip, play with your kids, whatever – and you want to present that moment in a whole new way, from your perspective in 3D. So for now, I think this will continue to be an event-based product. But what's really exciting is that over time, we've seen the ability of these cameras to evolve from event-based products to products that are used throughout the day. So I think we're on this particular trip with performances. And we are fortunate to be able to continue investing this way to get there.

The ratio

Today in news that can influence the public perception of major technology platforms.

Trend: Microsoft has announced that it will apply the standard set by California's new privacy law in the United States after the law goes into effect on January 1. This move extends the impact of rules designed to protect consumers and their data. Trend: Facebook's decision to allow politicians to lie in political ads is widely condemned in Sri Lanka. The company has been fighting to tackle anti-Muslim hate speech and incitement to violence in Southeast Asia for many years.

Trending: Error in Facebook iOS app Facebook activates the iPhone camera when the app opens. Facebook pushed for a bug fix, but not before another cycle of news about the company's privacy issues. (Ben Lovejoy / 9to5Mac)


⭐ Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) questions the US Army's decision to try to hire Gen Z & ers using TikTok raising concerns about privacy and national security. The congressman wrote a letter to Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy asking to evaluate the national security risks posed by the platform and its Chinese parent company. Kadia Goba in BuzzFeed tells us more:

The army targeted TikTok and other social media platforms in 2019 after dialing the numbers suffered by more than 6,000 soldiers the previous year.

"While I acknowledge this, the Army must adapt its recruitment techniques to attract young Americans to serve; I urge you to evaluate the potential national security risks posed by technology companies owned by China before choosing to use specific platforms, "Schumer wrote in a letter received by BuzzFeed News.

In the letter, Sumer also asked if the Army had consulted with the Department of Homeland Security about potential security risks and whether the Army was considering alternative recruitment methods.

Misinformation about the impeachment investigation is circulated on social media. Posts that appear mainly on Facebook contain misleading information about the rules governing the investigation, which are not widely understood and are therefore easy to lie. (Daniel Funke / PolitiFact)

Twitter added some nuance to its political ban on ads by telling advertisers that ads that promote awareness of issues of national importance would still be allowed. This exception is likely to apply only to advertisements, although Twitter has not confirmed this for certain. Are you still confused? (Alex Kantrowitz / BuzzFeed )

A new coalition of progressive groups is stepping up its fight against Facebook . They call themselves the Campaign for the Regulation and Breakdown of Big Technologies, and say they have been unfairly caught in the company's efforts to overcome fraudulent billing and election fraud. (Emily Birnbaum / Hill )

Republican PR companies spend huge amounts of money on Google ads, as if to collect voter email addresses. The ads ask people to enter their emails to vote in political polls. (Sam Baker / Engadget )

Several lobbyists Facebook worked for top Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, while none worked for Republican leadership. The social network has spent nearly $ 12.3 million this year on federal lobbying. (Alex Katch / Sludge )

Al Jazeera asks Facebook Facebook to take action on misinformation supported by the Emirates to discredit its reporting. The newsletter says the campaign is a dirty job, portraying them as a dangerous publisher who incites violence. (David Uberti / Vice )


⭐ Signalist working on Project Nightingale – Google's secret health initiative that includes the personal medical records of up to 50 million Americans – raised privacy concerns for the project, reports Ed Pilkington of The Guardian:

An Anonymous Gift Gift posts a video on the Social Motion social media platform that contains a dump of hundreds of images of confidential files related to Project Nightingale . The secret scheme, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, involves the transfer to Google of healthcare data held by Ascension, the second largest healthcare provider in the United States. The data is transmitted with complete personal information, including name and medical history, and can be accessed by Google employees. Unlike other such efforts, it was not made anonymous, despite the process of removing personal information known as de-identification.

The announcer presented the video with the words: "I have to talk about the things that are happening behind the scenes. .

The disclosed documents include highly confidential Project Nightingale outlines that define the four stages or "pillars" of a secret project. By the time the transfer is completed next March, it will pass on to Google the personal data of 50 million or more patients in 21 states, with 10 million or more files already migrated – without warning to patients or doctors.

Facebook will now control what appears in the application's navigation bar, thanks to a new option called Shortcut Bar Settings. Among other things, this option means that you will no longer see false red alert points for parts of the application that you do not otherwise check. Goodbye Market! (Josh Constine / TechCrunch )

Facebook has introduced Facebook Pay – a payment service that works on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. It will be distributed in the US on Facebook and Messenger to get started, and will support fundraising, in-game purchases, event tickets and person-to-person payments. The start time makes it look like a backup plan for Libra's breakup, at least from the outside.

Instagram has launched in Brazil a new video editing tool called Reels, which copies some of the most famous features of TikTok . It allows users to record 15-second videos, adjust their speed, tune them to music, or capture audio from videos of others – much like TikTok's Duet feature. (James Vincent / The Verge )

Influencers open up on social media, become real on issues like anxiety and depression, and teenagers start to follow suit. But while the practice can benefit influencers by providing them with more followers, it can make teens bullying goals. This story also introduced me to the concept of fishing – pretending to have mental health issues to make a juicy commitment to social posts. 2019! (Julie Jargon / Journal of Wall Street )

Influential Twitter users in India are starting to move to Mastodon amid protests about Twitter's moderating practices. The move came after Twitter terminated the lead lawyer of the Supreme Court of India twice. (BBC)

Finally …

The only link this element has to social media is a semi-viral tweet, but I can't help but share it with you. It looks like nonsense, but it's actually a completely unnecessary edit to a classic movie. Thank you and subscribe to Disney + for more eradication of your childhood memories.

Talk to us

Send us tips, comments, questions, and reviews at Spectacles: casey@theverge.com and zoe @ theverge.com.

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