Does everyone remember the massive flop that was Google Glass a few years ago? Google penned their glasses as eyewear for the future that everyone would be wearing, but after only a few years they completely ditched the product because nobody was buying it. The glasses weren’t especially fashionable and the $1,500 dollar price tag definitely drove people away, but I think the biggest issue with Google Glass was way more simplistic than price point or what they looked like on a humans face. The glasses are simply unnecessary. No one really needs glasses with a camera attached to them, you know? At least that’s what I think. According to The Wall Street Journal Snapchat’s 26-year-old founder Evan Spiegel seems to think differently.
His company, just rebranded as Snap Inc., is introducing camera-equipped eyeglasses called Spectacles that can record 10 seconds of video with a tap. That video footage is then wirelessly transferred to a user’s phone. Spectacles will be available in three colors when they launch this fall for $129.99, according to The Wall Street Journal.
$130 dollars compared to the $1,500 dollars you’d be paying for Google Glass is obviously huge. But think about what you’re paying for. Spectacles only have the capability to record for ten seconds, so basically what you get is the addition of one extra step when you want to Snapchat something. Instead of just unlocking your phone and recording a ten-second snapchat, now you have to push a button on a pair of sunglasses, wait until it transfers to your phone, and then go onto your phone and select who you want to send that video to. I just feel like there are better things to be concentrating on and developing, but I’m not the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, so what the hell do I know?
Speaking to the Journal, Spiegel described Spectacles as a “toy” ideal capturing occasions like barbecues and outdoor concerts. Perhaps the most important difference between them and Glass: Spectacles actually look like regular sunglasses, although there’s nothing subtle about their design.
If spectacles are being marketed as something that are only used on special occasions, like house parties and concerts, then why do they cost $130 dollars? For these to be successful, I feel like the price would have to come down to something like fifteen or twenty dollars max. One of the biggest complaints I hear from people when I’m out at brunch is that they hate buying expensive sunglasses (read: anything over fifty dollars) because they’re so easy to lose or break. I don’t know very many people who will be able to justify wearing these if they only get used a couple of times a month. Ray-Bans can cost anywhere from $100 dollars to $250 dollars and people complain about breaking those or losing them all the time. I just can’t see people buying some sunglasses from Snapchat that undoubtedly come in “Aviator” and “Wayfarer” styles. No one is going to pick a pair “Spectacles” over Ray-Bans or Warby Parker.
Still, Snap Inc. will likely come up against what may have ultimately been the death knell for Google Glass. The idea of a face-mounted camera was viewed as a privacy nightmare by some, since it wasn’t always clear when it was recording. The devices were banned from some bars, restaurants and theaters, especially in the tech-forward Silicon Valley area. How Snap Inc. learns from Google’s experience in terms of the “creepiness factor” will in part determine how Spectacles are received by the public.
Yeah, I could see this becoming an issue in public restrooms. And at the bar. And on public transportation. Think about all of the perverted things you could do with a pair of sunglasses that can record video. Snapchat Spectacles are a perverts dream. So when you really think about it, Evan Spiegel is just a pervert apologist. The creepiness factor with these shades should not be overlooked or swept under the rug, because if for some reason they become popular this is absolutely going to be an issue. The glasses seem to still be in the experimental stage as there is no word on a release date to large markets. It’ll be interesting to see if Snapchat can do with glasses what the almighty Google could not. My guess is that the Spectacles will be a massive failure, but like I said earlier, I’m not the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, so what do I know? We’ll all probably be wearing these things this time next year..
[via Wall Street Journal]
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