Thousands of users are in love with Snapchat, an online community that enables sending of images and videos to friends. The twist is that the shared content self-destructs after a set period of time (usually 10 seconds). When the social media platform first entered the public’s consciousness, it caused quite a stir. And now, Snapchat is once again making huge waves, this time in the wearable tech industry, with Snapchat Spectacles.
The company, which is expected to go public soon, just released Spectacles. These are sunglasses that allow you to record short clips for quickly sharing your perspective with friends.
Hot and Trending!
Although not the first high-tech eyewear (remember Google Glass?), people are already lining up for these specs. Some have even resorted to hunting them down and paying premium prices on auction sites. This is because Snap Inc. hasn’t started mass producing the glasses yet. Instead, they deploy their vending machine called Snapbot in various cities at a time, effectively creating hype.
The vending machine first made its appearance at Venice Beach, then at Big Sur. Recently, the Snapbot was spotted in Tulsa. Where will it appear next? Well, your guess is as good as ours. But because of this cleverly engineered scarcity, Snapchat fans are scouring Twitter for news, and sites like Craigslist to get their hands on the Snapchat Spectacles.
Each pair will cost you $129.99 but could go as high as a thousand bucks on Craigslist. It seems that, at the moment, anyone interested can only buy one pair per credit card transaction. Also, according to witnesses, the bot holds around 200 glasses and is restocked around three times a day. This means that only about 800 are sold daily. This, apparently, is not enough because people have been reported lining for as long as 4 hours just to buy a pair.
What’s Great About the Snapchat Spectacles?
Whereas Google Glass was happily embraced by tech enthusiasts, it was abandoned not long after. It did not even hit the mainstream. Snapchat Spectacles, however, seems to be gaining ground with the younger generation and appears to have plenty of potential to become a major hit. So what’s different about it?
For one thing, these camera sunglasses are tied directly to Snapchat, a mobile social platform that has already amassed millions of daily active users. Based on the statistics published by Bloomberg in June of 2016, Snapchat has 150 million users daily and has surpassed Twitter’s daily usage stats. Since Spectacles is basically an extension of this online community, it stands to reason that thousands would want it.
The technology also offers convenience in this time and age when sharing experiences online, even the mundane moments, is quite commonplace. Imagine you are doing something on your phone and you suddenly come across a scene you wish you could share with your friends. By the time you exit the apps you are currently using and open your camera app, the moment has passed. With Snapchat Spectacles, though, a single tap will let you capture any precious yet fleeting instance. Then, you can tell your friends all about it!
How Does It Work?
Spectacles has a camera at the top edge of the left lens. Tap on the left frame to quickly record a Snap. As of now, the glasses captures 10-second videos. Simply tap the frame again to record another clip. There is a LED ring on the top edge of the right lens, which lights up and spins, indicating to non-wearers that recording is ongoing. Meanwhile, a white light will shine behind the lenses to tell you that you are indeed recording.
Once done recording, you can easily sync the clips to your Snapchat account. By default, the videos are kept private until you decide to share them. Also, recorded videos are rendered within a circle – quite different from the regular rectangular media files you are used to seeing. So, to view snaps from Spectacles on your phone, you will have to turn your device to fully see everything.
Videos are of standard quality, although recording of high-definition footage is possible. But for this, you will have to connect Spectacles to a Wi-Fi network.
The glasses come with a case that doubles up as a charger. According to first-wave users, the eyewear doesn’t run out of juice easily and charging is simple.
How Does It Look?
Some say the sunglasses look like normal ones, while others say they look goofy or nerdy. So what this comes down to is that it depends on your personal style and preferences. On the Spectacles website, models are seen wearing black, red, and blue pairs. Although colors are currently limited, there is still room to mix and match with your outfits and express your personal style.
Many of those who were lucky enough to buy one are saying they like wearing it and that if they are not recording videos, the sunglasses function like regular shades.
Just like Google Glass, Snapchat Spectacles also faces the issue of privacy. It is expected that non-wearers will be against this tech because they don’t want to be filmed going through their everyday lives, and this is, of course, a valid concern. Wearers might face sanction from others in society about their choice of wearable tech.
But Spectacles is quite new and, so far, good things are being said about it. Millenials are quickly adopting it and, based on the fact that many people are willing to line up for hours just to grab one, it seems that Snap Inc.’s glasses are poised to become more mainstream than previous high-tech eyewear.
Spectacles is a very hot item at the moment and continues to gain traction among Snapchat users. It is still a first-generation product and so more improvements are expected from it. Will it go down the way of Google Glass or will it be more accepted this time around? Time will tell.
Image Credit: All images were taken from the official Spectacles website: https://www.spectacles.com/