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With Facebook and Instagram on each other’s heels integrating video on their platforms, many wondered if Snapchat was going to be a flash in the pan. In one fell swoop the company indicated not only are they here to stay but that they intend on dominating the social space. With the rebranding to Snap Inc. and the announcement of the launch of their connected sunglasses that record video—Spectacles—the business made it clear they’ve got big plans.

Spectacles in a snapshot:

  • The Spectacles will be $130 and launch this fall in limited release.
  • They’ll be one-size-fits-all in black, teal, or coral colors and sell for $229.99.
  • By tapping the rim of the glasses, you instantly record 10 seconds of video; with three taps you can record a maximum of 30 seconds.
  • A light on the front clearly alerts people you’re recording.
  • Video is captured in circular format captured with a 115-degree wide-view lens.
  • Videos can be watched full screen on a phone in any orientation.
  • Video content is stored on the device and can be wirelessly offloaded to a phone over WiFi or Bluetooth to be edited and shared via Snapchat later.
  • The battery life should last a day, but the glasses come with a portable recharging case that should allow for four recharges.

There are a lot of questions. Can Snap Inc. debunk the creepy Google Glass fiasco? Do we really need another camera? What are the implications if they do get adopted? Is augmented reality next?  One thing is certain: the diversification into hardware should bode well for the startup’s rumored IPO. Currently, the core revenue stream comes from video ads. If just one percent of their daily users buy Spectacles, the company could earn $200 million on this launch. As TechCrunch put it, “The more of their stack a company owns, the more it can control its destiny. If Facebook is the News Feed, and Google is search, Snapchat wants to be the camera.”

Read more in TechCrunch.

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