What are Snapbots?

I originally wrote 3 paragraphs explaining what Snapchat and Spectacles are as a preface to explaining Snapbots. In an effort to write shorter posts, I will try to explain each in a sentence:

Snapchat: a social network that allows users to post pictures and 10 second video clips that self destruct when a recipient gets the post or with in 24 hours of it being posted to “your story”

Spectacles: to try and make the company more diverse and become a leader in the new space of virtual reality / augmented reality, Snapchat has begun manufacturing sunglasses with 2 cameras built into them so you can record 10 second videos from your own perspective and hands free of your phone

Snapbots: the only way the masses can get their hands on Spectacles at the moment. They are vending machines that only sell Spectacles, put in random places around the United States for just a few hours at a time

Why do I like it?

I like it because it is creating HYPE. If you live in NYC or LA, you have no doubt seen a billboard with Spectacles themselves or the Spectacles logo. At any time you can go to the Spectacles website where it will display the location of where a single Snapbot is currently selling Spectacles OR it will have a count down timer to when the next Snapbot will be placed

Now the race to find these Snapbots hasn’t gone “mainstream” just yet but every time a Snapbot is deployed, tens of thousands of people are tweeting about the location. Not to mention, people who are lucky enough to find a Snapbot and buy two or three are fetching $3,000 on eBay for them. These are the same trends that make things become mainstream or “go viral” nowadays. Waiting in line for hours to get the product, reselling it on eBay for 100x the actual price of the product…

Most importantly, it’s creating hype in the tech community so once tech bloggers and journalists get their hands on them, expect a mad rush to find these Snapbots and for everyone to be walking around with Spectacles on their head.

Bigger Picture

Spectacles are going to be big. They are going to be the first mainstream virtual reality / augmented reality hardware. Why will Spectacles fail when Google’s attempt to create a virtual reality / augmented reality headpiece didn’t work? Because Spectracles are simple to use and will primarily be used by teens at first, just like every other social network and new fad. Facebook started out as just college kids, now one in seven of every human on the planet has a Facebook page. Instagram started out with only millennials, now my mom and her friends spend more time on Instagram than I do. Snapchat and Spectacles are going about it the right way. Creating hype in the right circles using Snapbots and targeted ads.

Google had too many bells and whistles on its product. Look at the darn thing! It’s the next step to us becoming cyborgs. People were not ready for the look let alone ALL the ways it would effect their life. But Spectacles have one simple functionality and are fairly cute to wear. They do not give you directions to the nearest subway stop, they do not remind you of your doctor appointment, they do not have built in games… Not yet! Just like Facebook didn’t have a newsfeed when it launched or Netflix didn’t even stream videos to your devices when it launched… Spectacles will get there but it’s taking things one step at a time.

Let’s dip everyone’s toes in the virtual reality water by asking them to record a short 10 second video with Spectacles. Next we will be able to watch content through the Spectacles or insert different filters and overlays into what we see through them. Snapchat is prepping for something huge and I’m not talking about their IPO. I’m talking about Spectacles and Snapbots is their vehicle to build hype for version 1.0.

What is Max’s Startup Radar?

Every week I try to post a little blurb about a cool start-up or product that has popped up on my radar. It could be big, small, old, or new. (Posts are not product endorsements or solicitations for investment) Suggestions? Comments? Opinions? Let me know on Twitter @mbidna or comment below!



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