The tech world was taken by surprise this week with the unexpected unveiling of Snap’s augmented reality Spectacles smartglasses.
So far, the response has been incredibly positive, in part due to the fact that Snap has been underpromising the delivery of AR smartglasses for several years now, making it seem like they were a long way off in the future for the company. Hence, the device’s sudden debut felt more like a gift than an ambitious range.
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But now that the device is out in the wild, the main question many have is, how do I get a pair? Well, unlike previous versions of Spectacles, this device is not on sale yet. Instead, Snap offers them to select augmented reality creators around the world.
Currently, there are only a handful of users in locations from Los Angeles to Ukraine. If you̵
Step 1: Hand over your personal information
Snap needs your full legal name and email address.
Step 2: Create a Snapchat profile if you don’t have one yet
In addition to that name and email address, Snap also wants you to provide your Snapchat username. Not your Twitter or Instagram account, but your Snapchat username. If you don’t have one, making one is easy. Download the free app for iOS or Android and get started.
Step 3: show your work
Next, Snap wants to see your work. The company requires a portfolio or website that shows what you stand for in creating visual experiences. Ideally, you want to show AR or VR examples of visuals you’ve created. But this doesn’t seem to be a rigid requirement so if you are a traditional artist you can try submitting your 2D / 3D art website in this section.
Step 4: Tell them how you do it (tools, apps, etc.)
Next, Snap wants to know what your current AR and / or VR tools are. In general, this means knowing if you are running software such as Unity, Unreal Engine, ARKit, ARCore, etc.
But since Snap’s Lens Studio itself is so easy to use and doesn’t have as steep a learning curve as something like Unity, you might want to highlight other AR / VR tools too, like Blender, Photoshop, Tilt Brush, Microsoft’s Maquette or Adobe’s Medium for example. Oh, and if you’ve already dived into the waters of Lens Studio and made some lenses, be sure to mention that!
Step 5: Open your collar!
Next, Snap wants a link to your Snapchat lens, AR / VR app, or at least a video of what your creation looks like. In my case, last year I created a Snapchat lens called The Count (from Sesame Street fame) with Lens Studio. It’s not the most complicated lens, but it convinced me that Lens Studio is about as easy as using Photoshop. Translation: You can make a Snap lens even if you think you can’t.
If you’re still intimidated by the process and the more advanced lenses you’ve seen out there, rest assured, Lens Studio has some beginner tutorials that will show you how to quickly and easily create your first Snapchat lens. Lens Studio is free, so nothing will stop you from giving it a try.
Step 6: ‘Creative writing for AR 101’ starts here
Finally, Snap wants to know what kind of AR experiences you plan to create. This is a pretty broad question, but based on the conversation Snap CEO Evan Spiegel had with CNBC after the launch of the new Spectacles, it seems the company is (for now) less interested in corporate or corporate implementations and is really trying see how Lens makers can help turn the device into a lifestyle tool focused on fun, entertainment and socializing.
Oh, and shop! If there’s one thing – other than Spectacles – that was made clear during yesterday’s presentation, it’s that Snap plans to continue to take the lead in using AR for store interactions and optimization.
If all that sounds feasible on your end, here’s how you can begin the application process.
There is not a word about it when Snap will select the next group of users, but if you really want to participate in the future of Snap’s AR platform, you must submit your application as soon as possible.