We always felt comfortable being an odd duck among the naysayers here at FashNerd. Evangelizing that the lessons learned from Google’s endeavors with the google glass were anything but a failure. The thing is this, if the lessons learned are not executed in the next product, you will make the competition run away with it. I am sure, Evan Spiegel, 26 year old CEO of former Snapchat, now Snap Inc, felt confident diving in the wearable tech space with its new ‘videocam shades’ called Spectacles.
A few days ago the young CEO elaborated his efforts in the Wall Street Journal. While many will think of this as another first time attempt, from a tech giant, to disrupt the wearabletech market. Visionary Spiegel seems to make a great case. In WSJ he stated: “The images that result are fundamentally different. Spectacles’ camera uses a 115-degree-angle lens. Wider than a typical smartphone’s and much closer to the eyes’ natural field of view. The video it records is circular, more like human vision. As you record, your hands are free to pet dogs, hug babies or flail around at a concert. You can reach your arms out to people you’re filming, instead of holding your phone up, like a wall in front of your face.”
The biggest lesson google learned hasn’t been challenged though. The Google glass was able to record others without them knowing they were being recorded. In other words, the freedom to record was nibbling away from the freedom of choice not to be recorded. From a psychological standpoint, this was never going to be a great example of technology helping people to communicate in a better way.
The Spectacles won’t solve this communication problem in any way. Yes the captured footage (Snaps) will be uploaded on the Snapchat app. Once accessible for only 24 hours, the Snaps will now exist on your Specs until transferred to your Android or iPhone. We would almost forget, Snapchat’s biggest upgrade in July 2016, the memories section of the app, gave its users the option to now save normally self-destructing photos and videos like any other content capturing app. But the real question is, will that have any influence on the privacy of those being filmed? It surely does not add any empathy to the person being filmed.
It will all be very interesting to see if and how this device will be received. I can only live up to the fact that I never really understood how the Snapchat app ended up so incredibly successful among digital natives (read Millenials). One thing is certain, Snap Inc isn’t dancing the price-psychology shuffle on early-adopters like the $1500 Glass did. The Spectacles, with their Ray-ban looking aesthetics, will be available from $130. A price point that might actually invite youngsters to give them a go. On the shelves this fall, the one-size-fits-all will be available in the colors coral, black or teal.
November 10th, 2016 Update: Find a bot