Amid a pre-recorded Partner Summit where Snap took users through a whole set of new tools for Snapchat users, creators and companies, Snap also threw in a “one more thing” at the end that shows the company, after a rocky start several years ago, is definitely not giving up on its hardware ambitions anytime soon.
Snap announced the latest generation of its Spectacles, a streamlined 60s-style design in black that is the company’s biggest play yet in merging some of the work it has been building in augmented reality technology to a specific device tailored to work with it.
Evan Spiegel, Snap’s co-founder and CEO, described the Spectacles as the company’s “first pair of glasses that bring augmented reality to life,” and if you ever owned or tried out earlier versions of the glasses, it sounds like these are just more intuitive and seamless.
The fourth generation of these glasses will operate 30 minutes at a time, he said, and will feature dual 3D waveguide displays, and a 26.3-degree diagonal field of view for an immersive lens experience that “feels like they’re naturally overlaid on the world in front of you.” The glasses pack a lot of brightness to make them as usable inside and outside, and they come with built-in microphones, stereo speakers and touchpad controls. They are also relatively light at 134 grams.
Snap seems to be marketing the device for creators on the Snap platform rather than consumers toward whom the company has previously geared its hardware. Snap’s release embodies the strategy others have taken of building augmented reality tech in public even as the underlying tech is not quite ready for a mass market release.
The hardware itself is less capable than earlier releases from AR startups like Magic Leap, but Snap seems to have opted to sacrifice functionality for form factor, delivering a device that is less helmet-like than other augmented reality headsets.
Spiegel said that the glasses will feature the company’s new spatial engine, “which leverages six degrees of freedom, hand and surface tracking realistic ground digital objects in the physical world,” with 15 millisecond motion to photon latency for more responsiveness. The glasses are also integrated with Snap’s Lens Studio so that creators can build custom lenses for the devices. It’s rolled out the glasses already to a small group of early users, so expect to see these ship pre-populated with a range of lenses and other customizations.
Snap has long banked on augmented reality as a major opportunity but is still an underdog in the space given the size of its massive competitors.
The AR-capable Spectacles arrive ahead of Facebook’s upcoming smart glasses, which the company has partnered with Ray Ban to produce. Those glasses are not expected to include built-in displays and will instead rely heavily on other forms of input. Apple has also long been rumored to be working on augmented reality glasses and reportedly has thousands of employees working to build them.
Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster
Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.
Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update
On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.
Our December 2021 product reviews update is now rolling out for English-language pages. It will take about three weeks to complete. We have also extended our advice for product review creators: https://t.co/N4rjJWoaqE
— Google Search Central (@googlesearchc) December 1, 2021
The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.
A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:
“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.
Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.
Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”
Continue Reading Below
Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.
The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.
The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.
The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.
Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update
Product Review Update Targets More Languages?
The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.
Continue Reading Below
But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.
This is his question:
“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.
So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.
…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”
John Mueller answered:
“I don’t know… like other languages?
My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.
But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.
But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.
I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.
But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.
And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.
So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.
But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”
Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?
While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.
Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.
One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.
It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.
Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update
Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines
John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global
Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark
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