Snapchat, now Snap Inc., Releases Recordable Sunglasses Known as Spectacles

With the recent rebranding to Snap Inc. came the unforeseen announcement of the company’s first-ever hardware product: Spectacles. These round, funky, and retro-inspired sunglasses—available this fall in coral, teal, and black—will allow Snapchat users to record clips using a wider, 115-degree-angle lens and perhaps most importantly, without using their hands.

Unlike Google Glass, which went for a steep price of $1,500 a pair and was often criticized for being almost too functional with its long list of features, Spectacles will cost a reasonable $130 and focus on a sole function. With a simple tap on the rim, the camera-embedded glasses can record several 10-second video clips that can be uploaded to Snapchat instantaneously via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, or stored on the device for future use.

Founder Evan Spiegel told the Wall Street Journal that using the device—which he referred to as more of a “toy”—allows one to not only relive a moment, but lets others, whether fans, friends, or family experience these moments with a heightened sense of intimacy, thanks to the eye-level lens and rounded video frame. He said, “I could see my own memory, through my own eyes—it was unbelievable. It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience.”

This could have a considerable impact on both the influencer-follower experience and the amount of time users spend on the app. Fans will now be able to view snippets from their favorite influencers’ daily lives literally through their eyes—the ultimate human perspective. As is, consumers already spend around 25-30 minutes a day on Snapchat, according to Adweek. With the release of Spectacles, this could be upped significantly; imagery once undocumented due to the nuisance of having to whip out one’s smartphone will now be brought to life with one effortless tap. The only question is, will this type of documentation only appeal to a niche group, such as skateboarders or rock-climbing teens? Or will Spectacles be able to reach a larger audience?

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Photo Credit: Business Insider