Snapchat has quickly become the latest darling of social media, with young fans flocking to the app in hoards. Defined by a carousel of filters that can transform you from a wood nymph to a demon in the flick of a thumb, Snapchat has a rapturous following among the under 25’s, who make up 60% of Snapchat’s users. This could all change next year, where it’s estimated that users will increase by “double digit percentages” and fan out to attract more than its core base of millennials and teens.
While Snapchat is both a camera, video and messaging app, Snap Inc. primarily views itself as a “camera company” — at least according to Bryan Kim, who leads Snapchat’s strategy division. So it’s not a surprise that Snap Inc. recently unveiled their new addition to the wearable tech market: Snapchat Glasses, AKA Spectacles.
What Are Snapchat Glasses?
Snapchat’s Spectacles are a hybrid of sunglasses and a wearable camera. Snappers can record 10-second bursts of video at the touch of a button. As the camera is located in the frame of the glasses, your snaps will look like memories as they record from an eye-level perspective. All of your snaps will wirelessly download to your ‘memories’ section on the Snapchat app.
How Much Will Spectacles Cost?
Snapchat’s Spectacles will cost $129.99. Some critics have lambasted the video goggles as too pricey for their main user base, but they’re still cheaper than a pair of Ray-Bans, and way cheaper than a Go Pro.
Why Do I Want This?
GoPro has long held dominion over first-person style video content. However, you have to wear one of these on your head.
Although detractors have called Spectacle’s “geeky,” they’re certainly more low-key than looking like you’re about to make a cameo in The Descent.
Being able to instantly record video from an eye-level perspective is the major draw for the Spectacles. Finding your phone and turning on the camera can take anywhere from 5 seconds to infinity depending on how easily you lose things. I once saw a pirate riding a bicycle with a cat on his shoulder, but no-one believed me thanks to an iPhone that wouldn’t unlock in time. Not so with the Spectacles, where every weird memory can be recorded just by brushing the rim of your sunglasses.
Another benefit of Spectacles is being indefinitely relieved of videographer duties. How many times have you missed out on being part of the moment, in order to record the moment? Snapchat CEO, Evan Spiegel, likened cell-phone snapping to “a wall in front of your face.” Spectacles will allow you to go hands-free, while still taking home a visual keepsake of the good times.
Why Don’t I Want This?
Snapchat’s main attraction is the vast array of filters you can superimpose onto your face. Spectacles only record short video bursts, so no filters — and no selfies. Without filters and selfies, Snapchat’s two main product pulls are out-of-the-loop.
If you have high hopes of using Spectacles to fill in your Instagram stories, you’ll be disappointed. Spectacles only work with the Snapchat app, and can’t be uploaded to a competitor.
Will Everyone Be Wearing Spectacles Next Year?
Snapchat has a huge wealth of celebrity admirers, from Kylie Jenner to Kate Hudson. Spectacles are likely to be a staple in paparazzi shots of celebs fleeing to their vehicles, which almost always bodes well for brands. Kylie Jenner has a habit for causing items to sell-out at lightning speeds after she’s caught wearing them, so Spectacles could sell out based on celebrity endorsements alone. That said, how many celebrities will don Spectacles without the ability to take a selfie remains to be seen.
If nothing else, the success of social media is a testament to the consumer’s investment in memories. Providing users with the experience to relive memories, through their own eyes, is likely to be a big trend in upcoming wearables, even if Spectacles don’t live up to expectations.
Snapchat Glasses Release Date
The Spectacles are rumored to launch during November, as to capitalize on the upcoming holiday season. According to Snap Inc. the Spectacles will enjoy a limited release, so it may be hard to gets your paws on a pair straight away.