Snapchat will shortly be launching its first foray into hardware, and attempting to reinvent the way we video 10 second moments of our lives. In doing so, the company has done what it does best – create a tool that could be used for less than pure purposes.
“Spectacles,” will be, as they sound, a pair of sunglasses, with the ability to film. Tapping Spectacle’s rim will activate the video, and record 10 seconds, tap 3 times, and you will get 30 seconds.
Video will be stored in the glasses, which will utilise Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to share with phones. The battery life remains to be tested, but is rumoured to be around 24 hours, but this obviously depends on how much you’re filming. Spectacles also come with a portable charging case, which will enable you to charge your sunglasses on the run.
In an echo of Google’s, Alphabet rebrand, Snapchat will be changing the name of its holding company to Snap Inc, as part of a restructure designed to bring in a more prevalent hardware division. Indeed, Snap will be manufacturing the hardware, as well as taking care of the software for Spectacles.
As was inevitable, critics have been quick to share their thoughts, including the obvious concerns about the hardware being used for nefarious purposes, such as subversive filming. Snap Inc has already answered this concern, demonstrating that its impossible to film without other people knowing. There is a light at the front of the glasses, which indicates if the user is filming, although there is likely to be many workarounds for this feature – including pieces of tape.
The other concerns pointed out, are hangovers from Google Glass. With bars, restaurants and many businesses still banning Google’s attempt at wearable tech, it seems inevitable that the same treatment can be expected for Spectacles.
However, Snap Inc has come up with a clever way to differentiate themselves from Google – the same technique they’ve been using since the business was launched. They are attempting to make Spectacles cool.
Get ready to see celebrities wandering around in the hardware, with rumoured marketing plans to be based on aspirational figures. Snap Inc CEO Evan Speigel was photographed in designer Spectacles by Carl Lagerfeld for a Wall Street Journal piece hurriedly put together after video of the hardware was released by Business Insider.
Priced at a surprisingly low $130, Spectacles have the potential to be everywhere. Get ready for a huge increase in short form video, and watch people’s faces to see if they’re filming you.