When Google released its Google Glass, it looked like a computer strapped onto some glasses, charging port and all.
The new Spectacles, made by Snapchat parent company Snap Inc., are intended to be the opposite: cool, sleek, and fashionable without a trace of the computers powering them. Pulling that off though is no easy task.
Patents published on Nov. 1 give us a small peek at what’s likely under the hood of Snap’s Spectacles. While the patents don’t address the Spectacles by name and are simply covering “smart glasses”, the drawings of the charging case are a close match to photos released by the company of the Spectacles. Snap Inc. declined to comment on this story.
To conceal the computer hidden in the glasses, Snap Inc devised a way to only expose the charging port when the arms of the glasses are folded back.
Since it’s only exposed when folded, you can’t tell it has a charger when you wear them out.
Given most glasses are only folded when they’re not in use or sitting in a case, Snap’s inventions capitalise on that downtime by charging the glasses. The carrying case also doubles as a charging station. When the glasses are folded and placed in the case, the newly exposed ports connect to the case’s internal charger — no extra wires required.
The charging case will still need to be charged on its own, but Snap Inc. told the Verge that its carrying case should last through four full charges of the Spectacles. For those lucky few who will be able to get their hands on the limited edition, charging will be more of an after-thought than a worrying barrier to use, exactly how Snap designed it.