Beginning in 2011, Snapchat has evolved into one of the most popular mobile applications, ever. For five years, their formula remained largely unchanged and their popularity soared. In September 2016, Snapchat announced their newest release, Snapchat Spectacles, a pair of glasses designed to immerse the user in the Snapchat experience.
Before we can get into the features of Snapchat Spectacles, let’s review Snapchat’s niche. The beauty of Snapchat is the creative, silly outlet it provides people online—a place filled with silly videos and quirky filters. Popularity created a copycat from Instagram with Stories, and tech companies seem to be chasing ephemeral as quickly as possible. Ephemeral is casual, with people gravitating toward the ease and convenience of quick snapshots of their lives.
We’ll take you through everything from the features to how to pick up your first pair of Snapchat Spectacles. We’ll also visit the abundance of demand the Spectacles have generated and why they didn’t flop like Google Glass did.
SnapChat Spectacles are, at first, a trendy pair of sunglasses. The real kicker is the built-in camera for pictures and videos. The 115-degree lens creates videos that mimic the natural perspective seen through a person’s eyes.
The sunglasses come in three different colors: black, teal, and coral. By tapping a button on the top left side of the glasses, users can record up to 30 of Snapchat’s signature 10 second videos. In order to increase the time, all you have to do is tap the button once more. A bright LED light emits from the glasses to indicate anytime you’re recording.
Instant Snapchat Memories
After all the picture and video taking shenanigans, users can transfer their Snaps to their mobile device via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Snapchat must first be downloaded onto a mobile device for the Spectacles to have the full experience. With the addition of Snapchat’s newest feature, Snapchat Memories, photos and videos taken with Spectacles will automatically be stored on the user’s Snapchat account.
The battery life of the SnapChat Spectacles is expected to last up to one day with a full charge. The LED light on the glasses also monitors and displays the battery life. Snapchat took a creative approach to designing the charging station for the Spectacles. To charge the glasses, simply place them into their case-like charger, capable of retaining up to four maximum charges.
Where can you Find Snapchat Spectacles?
Snapbots! What? This playful, yellow vending machine is being moved across the nation by SnapChat. The Snapbot can be tracked down by visiting this website, or through the mobile app. Just go to settings, then spectacles, and tap Learn More About Spectacles.
The Snapbot only stays in a given area for 48 hours before it is removed. There is always a countdown on the Spectacles website 24 hours before the location is revealed. So far, the Snapbot has made appearances in: Venice Beach, California; Loma Vista, California; Santa Monica, California; and Cartoosa, Oklahoma. As of November 21st 2016, Snapchat opened a pop-up shop in Manhattan, New York with a Snapbot inside.
Too Much Demand
Rarely can a marketing campaign intentionally create more demand than supply, but that’s exactly what Snap Inc. did with Snapchat Spectacles. Through limited release and bizarre, often unannounced pick-up locations, Spectacles generated quite the online buzz.
While nobody is sure exactly how many have been sold, it’s clearly not enough for the general public. Apparently, some people are just too eager to own the new device, with prices rising to almost $5,000 dollars!
The lucky few get to own this prized possession for now, and there is no indication if/when they will become widely available to the general public.
Better than Google Glass?
When the Spectacles were announced, comparisons were drawn to the unsuccessful Google Glass, with many predicting the Spectacles to fare far better than Glass did. The main reason behind these predictions: price point.
Google Glass hit the market at a whopping $1,500, while Snapchat Spectacles sell for $129. Granted, Glass had more features; but more important than possible features are desired features. Spectacles set itself apart from Glass by orchestrating the feature most desired by users (video-recording) really well.
The design of Spectacles is much more appealing. Google Glass has a clunky, nerdy feel to them, while Spectacles are trendy and minimalistic. A look at Google Glass (below) further illustrates this point.
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