A few weeks ago, the newly rebranded Snap announced that they were going to produce sunglasses called Spectacles. These glasses are finally being sold. How? Through SnapBots.
Yes, SnapBots. Little minion-looking vending machines that are popping up all around the county…only for a day. The first one, in Venice of course, stirred up quite a buzz. Huge lines for these new AR-like gadgets and their limited, location based launch has caused them to go for a few thousand dollars on Ebay. Granted, give it a few weeks when they’re readily available, they’ll be going for far less.
A few years ago we saw Google launch Google Glass, which was immediately in the hands of every tech geek around the world. It was an awesome product…for doctors, teachers, athletes, and military exercises. But the general public was disinterested for a few reasons: they were expensive and generally aesthetically unappealing. Snap has moved a step forward, bringing humanity and purpose behind moment capturing glasses. And, they’re pretty fashionable.
I think what intrigues me, and a lot of other people, is the humanity in the product. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has been working on these glasses for quite some time and has perfected some elements. I’m not saying these are perfect by any means, but it’s a step towards how future technology could really fit into our daily lives.
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel recounted a hiking trip he took while wearing the glasses to The Journal:
“I could see my own memory, through my own eyes — it was unbelievable. It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience. It was the closest I’d ever come to feeling like I was there again.”
A life-like experience is the crux of memory. We’ve seen it in the in VR and AR experiences that are becoming increasingly complex, life-like, and accepted into mainstream society. You can travel to the top of mount Everest, walk through a new house you want to buy in Malta, or fly in the cockpit of a 747, all with the touch of a button. It’s truly amazing, and it’s only getting better. Games like Pokemon Go are pushing the limits of AR, attracting millions of users in a few days. Our media revolution is going to change the way we see reality, learn about the world around us, and interact with each other.
Snap’s Spectacles are a new way to create memories, real memories. They’re a way to create real memories that maybe don’t feel so scripted, capturing them in the matter of one click. To make it even better, it’s on a device which you wear on all sunny days — and here in Colorado, there’s a LOT of sunny days. Now battery life has been an issue for almost every wearable device to date, so of course it’s a problem for the Spectacles. They’ll maybe last a day if you’re lucky — well 16 minutes of video. The quick solve, throw them in the case and they’ll charge from 0–100% up to 4 times. They can also be charged via USB cable, if your case is out of juice. Other than that, they’re pretty simple — rechargeable glasses that record life’s precious moments in one click.
Now, I haven’t gotten my hands on a pair yet, but when I do, I’ll do a comprehensive review. For now, this is a preview. I’ll stick to my drone, iPhone, and digital SLR as my way to tell my story. As Spectacles continue to spread around the country, it’ll be interest to see how it affects the content we produce as consumers — can it create better, more real, life-like memories and records? My guess is yes, and it’ll change the way we communicate with one another. Ultimately, I don’t think more technology is a bad thing — and some would disagree — but how we use technology that provides value to our lives. If Spectacles can become part of everyone’s daily habit, they’ve won. They’ve created a product that we don’t even think about using — we just use it.