Snap Inc., the company known for popular social media app Snapchat, has just announced its first consumer pair of sunglasses - Spectacles. These video-capturing sunglasses are going for $129.99 and are currently available in three colors. Spectacles allow consumers to capture video and pictures right from the glasses while incorporating fun geofilters and augmented reality before posting right to their Snapchat accounts. Snap, Inc.'s CEO and Co-Founder Evan Spiegel has coined the Spectacles a “toy”, and have only released a limited number of them so far.
“It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it,” Spiegel told the Wall Street Journal. It is important to imagine Spectacles as a way for end users to experience virtual and augmented realities through glasses that could be worn as a fashion statement by Millennials.
Josh Elman, a Partner at VC firm Greylock Partners, told CNBC, “I think their brand is so strong with people in their early 20s that they might sell a lot more of these than anybody is predicting… They’re positioning it as this fun toy for people to engage with, not something that you need to think about as your next big technology investment. I think it's the beginning of a much broader set of things we're going to see from Snap, [such as] I think the ability to change how people think of the camera — it's not just something you hold and shoot, you take out of your pocket or out of a case — it's right there with you all the time," Elman said.
Spectacles can record circular video through a 115o view and send snaps directly to the user's Snapchat account. Just one charge will enable use of the sunglasses for a full day, but, Spectacles also come with a charging case that automatically charges them when put away. The case charger and Spectacles charger are included with the purchase of the sunglasses.
Spectacles are actually predicted to take off where Google Glass failed as they are more of a fashion statement and don't come with the same usability blockers, like privacy issues, as Google Glass did. This "toy" has the potential to position Snapchat among the world's most ambitious technology companies.
Already "the social media platform of our time, Snapchat could now own the means of both producing and distributing its content,” said Julia Sourikoff, who heads VR and 360 for Tool of North America, a commercial production company. "For brands, that could mean a not-too-distant future where consumers could head out to stores to meet holograms of the trendy influencers who are already avid Snapchat users," Sourikoff said.
Snap, Inc. has now put itself on the map to spearhead the future of wearable technology and social media. The question is: when will you purchase your first pair of Spectacles?