Snapchat is confirming the launch of their first hardware product, and it’s coming sooner than anyone thought. Friday night the company said the Spectacle glasses for $130 this fall. What’s more, as they are now more than a social media app, it rebranded itself as Snap, Inc.
The Spectacles are sunglasses able to connect to Snapchat and record 10-second videos and sync with a smartphone to share the video on the app. The eager customer must only tap a button near the hinge to start the ultimate POV. Each new tap records a new clip.
26-year-old Snap CEO Evan Spiegel assures the Spectacle videos have a circular shape are similar to the human version, almost like a memory. He argues that classical rectangular photos are an unnecessary reminiscent of printing photos on sheets of paper.
The Spectacles vs. the good old smartphone
On a quiet conference room, Spiegel showcased the product to reporters and colleagues alike. Spiegel told he tried a prototype in early 2015 while hiking with his fiancée, supermodel Miranda Kerr., and said that looking back at the record felt like reliving the experience.
“IT WAS THE CLOSEST I’D EVER COME TO FEELING LIKE I WAS THERE AGAIN,” added Spiegel.
Spectacles, according to Spiegel, record memories, not videos. What’s more, people can interact and wave their arms to others while using the glasses, instead of holding the phone “in front of your face like a wall.”
The CEO refers to the glasses as a toy for barbecues and outdoor concerts
He doesn’t rely on them for significant revenues as the Spectacles will have limited distribution. “We’re going to take a slow approach to rolling them out,” said Spiegel. “It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and how they like it.”
The glasses are the result of years of development and could be the breakthrough entrance of former Snapchat company into the the retail gadget marketplace. And the Spectacles risk provoking a trend train on the faces of every American teen.
He might not be wrong. As it stands, the smart glasses will become yet another fun feature of the addictive network that commands the idea of auto-deleting pics. The Snapchat app spurs over 100 million users per day, and that’s more than Twitter, the third social media with most users (after Facebook and Google’s YouTube).
Speaking of which, the Internet overlord Google already tried their smart glass experiment a couple of years ago. They launched the Google Glass in the US in April 2013, a pair of sunglasses that could display smartphone-like information in a hands-free format, and wearers could communicate with the Internet via voice commands.
The headset received criticism and legislative action due to privacy concerns, and Google announced it would shut down the prototype in January 2015.
Source: Wall Street Journal