Back in 2016, Snap released the original Spectacles. The quirky-looking sunglasses had a built-in camera that shot round video, which no one really wanted. As a tech product, Spectacles weren’t all that impressive, but they excelled at generating hype. You could only get them through limited “drops” from vending machines placed in secret locations. Prices on eBay and other secondhand outlets went nuts.
This week, Snap unleashed the third iteration of Spectacles. It’s a decided jump forward in terms of tech, adding a second HD camera for shooting in 3D and applying augmented-reality filters to the footage you capture. But the styling represents the biggest change. The new $380 fashion-forward frames look like something an Instagram model would wear, and that you’d start seeing knock-off versions of at flea markets and mall kiosks. They’re certainly too hip for me, and that seems like exactly the right move for Snap.
But, those fashionable shades weren’t the only story in the tech world this week. Even in the summer slowdown, there’s a lot to take in. Here’s a rundown of this week’s most-pressing (and sometimes even depressing) technology stories.
Listen to the latest episode of Techathlon
In case you haven’t heard, the Techathlon crew is back in full-force this week after a slight summer break. We spent our time away training hard. Personally, I dedicated hours to scrolling through Twitter and playing this weird smartphone game where you shoot bouncing balls with a cannon. This week’s episode includes tech trivia, making fun of crummy company branding, and trying to wrap our heads around the increasingly ridiculous array of smart gadgets on the market.
The Sega Genesis Mini is coming next month
It seems cruel that Sega would wait until school is back in session to release the Genesis Mini. The 40 pre-installed games seem like a really great way to waste a summer drinking Capri Suns in front of the TV. But, despite the bad timing, the system itself looks great. The controllers are legit and the included titles include classics like Earthworm Jim and Echo the Dolphin. Pair it with a tube TV, unrequited middle-school crushes, and Surge soda if you want a perfect recreation of my childhood.
Users were accidentally preheating their smart ovens in the middle of the night
June’s smart oven is a rather impressive appliance that takes commands from a smartphone app. Unfortunately, some users woke up to find their cookers accidentally preheated to 400 degrees. June has addressed the issue and submitted an updated app that will reportedly add some protections to prevent this from happening in the future. There are no reported injuries or damages, but I like to imagine at least one person woke up to a preheated oven and said, “Well, I guess it’s pizza rolls for breakfast, then…”
Logitech released new mechanical keyboards
If you’re addicted to the clickety-clack of mechanical keyboards, Logitech has some new options for you. Both of the new boards are basically the same, except the G815 attaches to your computer with a wire, while the G915 uses the company’s Lightspeed Wireless connectivity. There are three types of switches from which to choose, including linear, tactile, and clicky. Googling the difference is a great way to fall down a Friday-afternoon rabbit hole learning about mechanical keyboards.
You can’t bring your bad MacBook Pro battery on a flight
Recently, Apple issued a recall for some 2015-era MacBook Pro computers because of faulty batteries that could catch fire. This week, the FAA issued a ban that prevents passengers from bringing those computers on a plane. It’s not out of the ordinary for the FAA to do this, because pressurized plane cabins and fire don’t mix well. If you have an affected MacBook Pro, be sure to get it serviced before heading into the sky.
DJI made an impressive new smartphone gimbal
Smartphones do a surprisingly great job on their own of keeping video steady, but if you want truly pro-looking results, a gimbal makes a world of difference. The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 costs $119 and folds up so it’s easy to throw in a bag. It holds pretty much any smartphone perfectly stable, even if you’re engaged in action sports or trying to make a video as you run from airport security to sneak onto a plane with your 2015 MacBook Pro.
Samsung built a 108-megapixel smartphone sensor
Why would you want a smartphone camera with more than 100-megapixels? Well, we can answer that for you here. But, you can expect to see these high-res chips show up more and more down the road, which will make your Instagram posts look that much more #blessed with less work.