Snapchat, the original ephemeral app, recently made two announcements. One, they’ve changed the company’s name to Snap Inc., which CEO Evan Spiegel explains very simply below:
Two, they’ve launched Spectacles, a line of colorful smart sunglasses that captures 10 second video clips through a a 115 degree angle lens. Additional, the videos are recorded in a circular field, as opposed to other cameras capturing the usual square or rectangle. Videos can be wirelessly transferred to your phone so you can share them on Snapchat.
Spiegel has stated that the roll-out of Spectacles will be a slow one. As he told the Journal, “It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it.”. Spectacles will be available one-size-fits-all in three colors,:black, teal, or coral at $129.99.
A few things to consider here:
1. Snap Inc. is comfortable moving beyond its app to hardware, a strategy that can work for them in the long-run, especially with close rival Facebook investing billions into VR technology. It will be interesting to see what other risks Spiegel and Co. are willing to make.
2. While Spectacles may bring back some sour memories given its similarities to Google Glass, these cool new sunglasses have a lot more going for it. For one, it’s much more stylish. Two, you can tell when its recording as the circle on the lens lights up. Three, we know exactly what Spectacles does, making it less creepy than Glass. While people may still not warm up to the idea of being filmed, Spectacles at least took steps to mitigate these fears.
3. Most importantly, Snapchat is cool. It’s popular among Gen Y and Gen Z because the app allows these age groups something that other social media sites don’t: users don’t have to take themselves too seriously as snaps disappear in 24 hours. While Instagram Stories may replicate this, there’s still an Instagram account to maintain, which cuts the ephemeral experience a bit.
For me, Wired sums up my feelings exactly: