Snapchat, the wildly successful social sharing app so beloved of teens and young adults (see Snapchat, the Next Facebook) introduced Spectacles (or Specs), sunglasses with a tiny built-in video camera, that either plays back on the glasses or sends the video to the phone version of the app.
“Imagine one of your favorite memories. What if you could go back and see that memory the way you experienced it? That’s why we built Spectacles,” Snapchat (actually Snap, they just changed the company name) said in the announcement.
Snapchat users send each other 10-second videos shot straight from daily life, so there’s a logic to making video recording as easy as touching the side of your glasses.
The tech press immediately launched into dark reminiscence about Google Glass, the video recording/internet viewing glasses introduced in 2013, only to be pulled from production in 2015, after widely creeping people out, even prompting calls for legislation to prevent Glass wearers from surreptitiously shooting video in public places.
But tech writers (like Wired) also recalled that the nerdy look of the glasses–and the $1,500 price tag–pegged the product as a techno-snob status symbol. At $130, Spectacles will be priced closer to conventional shades.
Interesting possibility also raised that this is Snap’s opening move onto the “augmented reality” market. We just saw how Pokémon GO blew up as a fad based on the augmented reality of displaying little animated creatures on cellphone screens so they appeared to be running around in the wild.
See Snap’s video for Spectacles: