On Friday, Snapchat announced two major updates. The first was a name change – the company will now be formally known as Snap Inc., which showcases its broader focus for the brand moving forward. The second was Snap’s first hardware product release, the Spectacles. The Specs are the newest form of wearable tech, delivering a small wireless camera in sunglass form. The hardware release makes total sense to some, especially since the company has been touting itself as a camera company vs. a social network as of late.
The jury is still out on the Spectacles, as it’s hard for most to stay away from comparing the new spectacles to the wearable Google Glass technology, which had a short-lived popularity about three years ago and never made it to widespread adoption. But, so far, hopes remain high that Snap’s latest reveal will change mobile video as we know it.
Here is what we know about the Spectacle and how they will work:
- The Spectacles feature an integrated wireless video camera that can record 10-second video clips and save them directly to your Snapchat Memories.
- The glasses begin to record after you tap a small button near the left camera. The camera can record videos in 10-second increments, up to 30 seconds at a time.
- The snaps will live on your Spectacles until you transfer them to your smartphone and upload to your Snapchat Memories via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
- The camera, one of the smallest wireless video cameras available, has a 115-degree lens. The video is shot in Snap’s new circular video format, which previews full screen on all devices, in any orientation.
- The Specs feature an inward-facing light that will let you know when your camera is activated. There is also an external-facing light that lets those around you know that they’re being filmed.
- The glasses will be available at $130, and will initially come in three colors – black, teal and coral.
When will they be available:
- Snap Inc. is planning on releasing the Spectacles this fall, but many are starting to guess that the Specs will be hard to get a hold of initially. Snap is planning a slow release for the product, which could mean it will take a while before you’re able to sport your own pair.
How will they be different from Google Glass:
- Price: The Specs will be available for just $130, when compared to Google Glass at $1200, there’s definitely going to be a much easier entry into the market.
- Look and Feel: The Specs look better than Google Glass. Sure, they look like a cute toy, but they are hardly as distracting as the Google Glass, which looked like something out of a futuristic movie.
- Public perception: Google Glass tried to be too much all at once. With Snap’s Specs focusing on its core offering – 10 second mobile video – the new wearable sunglasses are able to offer cool new features, without overcomplicating things and completely disturbing normal conversation by requiring awkward voice commands in public.
How will brands be able to take advantage:
- Exclusive “behind the scenes” or “A day in the life content”: Brands have long used Snapchat to give followers a behind the scenes peak at their brands point of view. The Specs will now allow brands to do that with an even better vantage point.
- Event-based content: Following a similar theme as the option above, Brands will now be able to invite users to their biggest events. Imagine being on the red carpet or at a fashion show and getting a live and up close view, first.
- Influencer marketing: Instead of having influencers try to film themselves with their phone, you’ll now be able to lend them a pair of Specs for the day to take your followers on an exclusive journey.