This month seems to be the tech gift that just keeps on giving. We have already had the announcement of the iPhone 7, a new PS4, a whole wave of exciting GoPro models, and now Snapchat has announced their new Snapchat Spectacles. Rumours about the new product had been bouncing around for a while, but were dismissed as fake, even though the social network’s CEO Evan Spiegel was seen wearing what looked like camera glasses in public last year.
The company suprised the market this week by making the announcement that Snapchat Spectacles will go on sale later in the year (a specific date is yet to be announced) at $130 (£100). Snap inc. (the company behind Snapchat) have released some early information about the device, sharing just enough to ramp up the hype before a likely full-blown product launch in the coming months.
Snapchat’s aim with the glasses was to build on the popular app’s ‘story’ concept. Users will be able to store their moment for others to witness as they saw it at the time. It appears that this is the main focus of the release, as opposed to selling the glasses as simply a more convenient way of videoing. This seems like a smart way of marketing the device, as people often say that they wish others could see what they could when documenting their holiday or special birthday, for example. The Spectacles will record in a circular format and the light on the glasses will indicate when the recording is taking place.
Obviously, the Snapchat Spectacles bear a resemblance to the thwarted efforts of Google’s “Google Glass” project, which didn’t end up going into production after a series of hardware issues and following negative feedback from consumers. A major concern with Google Glass was the potential for invading people’s privacy and, at first glance, it looks as though Snapchat will try to navigate around this worry thanks to the light on the front of the device clearly displaying when something is being recorded. In addition, Snapchat Spectacles only record for 10 seconds at a time, so whereas the Google Glass could have easily saved an entire conversation, the new device will pick up only snippets.
At around a tenth of the price of Google Glass, and with the hope that big name celebrities will use them for their accounts, the Snapchat Spectacles might just enjoy the success that eluded the search engine giant. But would you wear a pair? Let us know in the comments!