GlassesCould Snapchat's New Glasses Change the Wearables Game?
Or will it be Google Glass all over again?
Big changes are happening at Snapchat, starting with the release of their first physical product, a pair of glasses.
The new product, called Spectacles, will be equipped with dual cameras near the hinges which can record up to 10 seconds of video footage from the wearer's point-of-view and then wirelessly upload the footage to the app for sharing. Filming is activated by simply touching a button at the hinge, and the glasses light up (lol) to show that they are recording.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the unisex style of glasses will be available later this fall, will cost $130, are tricked out with a 115-degree-angle lens, and come in three colors: teal, black, and coral.
As if sell the fashion community on the new product's credibility, the WSJ article announcing the news ran with images of Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel wearing Spectacles, shot by iconic designer and photographer Karl Lagerfeld.
This new release may remind people of Google's disastrous wearables experiment, Google Glass, which was much-publicized but never found footing. Spiegal is entering what is becoming an increasingly crowded market where tech and fashion overlap, with Apple Watch leading the way.
Additionally, Spiegal renamed his company Snap Inc., hinting at the fact that Snapchat may ultimately be just one part of his company's portfolio of products and services. It echoes the 2007 decision that Apple made, dropping the word "Computer" from its name, a sign that its ambitions were much larger than just personal computers.
Spectacles is expected to get limited distribution and Spiegal is framing this venture as an experiment, referring to the product as a toy. “We’re going to take a slow approach to rolling them out,” Spiegel told WSJ. “It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it.”