Snapchat Introduces Its First Hardware (Of Sorts)
Snap inc, previously known as Snapchat, have introduces their very own set of Spectacles. We look at the features, cost and more of these.
Published: Monday, September 26th 2016
Snapchat's core features have been plundered by the likes of Instagram and WhatsApp. So, it makes sense that the company looks for alternative revenue streams in order to continue to grow and diversify its business.
Last week the company, which has rebranded to Snap inc, introduced Spectacles. A product they say they've been working on for "the past few years".
So, How Are These 'Spectacles' Different From The Rest?
Spectacles are exactly what the name suggests. They're spectacles, or sunglasses, rather.
If this sounds familiar, then it's because you're thinking of Google Glass. Glass, was a project by Google which brought wearables to your face and allowed you to capture video footage through rather geeky, unattractive, spectacle-like frames.
Not only were they too expensive, they also incited privacy and security concerns.
The Age of Wearable Tech
Snap's Spectacles are not aiming to replace Glass. What they are aiming to do is take advantage of the onset of the new age of wearable tech, which has been threatening to make a big step on to the public consumer stage.
Apple is gearing up for this as well. They are, potentially, the company to actually take wearables out of the niche market and make it mainstream, with their AirPods. So it makes sense that Snap, who now call themselves a camera company, make a product which involves video.
Features of the Spectacles
Spectacles (can we call them Specs?) are available in three colours : black, teal and coral.
There is a tiny video camera on the left and right hand side of each of the lenses on the sunglasses. These let you record video in 10 second bursts. If you tap a button near the left camera, you can record an additional 10 seconds, up to 30 seconds in total. If you want to stop recording before the 10 seconds is up, simply tap the same button.
The snaps stay on your Spectacles until they are transferred to your phone. This using either Wi-Fi (if you're an Android user) or Bluetooth (if you're using iOS).
These Snap videos will then be uploaded and stored in the Memories section of the app.
Spectacle Security Concerns, Battery Usage and Cost
If anyone around you is worried about being filmed without their consent, they'll be happy to know that an outward facing light switches on while you're recording. This avoids them from being caught unawares. An inward facing light switches on to let you know that you are actually recording. So it won't be a case of pushing a button, thinking you're recording, only to find out later that you actually weren't.
Snap says that a single charge of the Spectacles should get you an entire day's worth of usage. It also does come with a case which should get you up to one week's usage.
If these sound intriguing to you, you'll be happy to know that the cost is a LOT less than Google Glass. According to Snap, Spectacles will retail for US$130.
Global availability and an exact release date have not yet been confirmed. But, we'll keep you updated once we get more information.