A couple years ago, Google Glass was supposed to be the next big thing. They even partnered with popular sunglass manufacturers to add flair to the design. However, due to the $1,500 price tag and the lack of practical uses, the glasses ended up being the biggest tech fail of 2014.
Google may have dropped the baton but another company wants to pick it up and carry it to the finish line. One of the fastest growing social media sites is releasing their own glasses that are less than a tenth of the price of Google Glasses.
The company behind the social media site Snapchat is doing a limited release of Spectacles this fall. These sunglasses, which will be available in black, coral, and teal for $130, will record video that you can wirelessly upload to your phone to edit and share on Snapchat later. Snapchat allows people to share messages, pictures and video (called snaps) with their friends; its claim to fame is that the media disappears from the app after 24 hours.
To record video, you tap the rim of the glasses, like the models in the photo above. One tap lets you record 10 seconds (the maximum length for snaps on the app) and three taps let you record up to 30 seconds. The lenses give you a 115-degree view and the battery should last all day. A light on the front of the frames comes on to alert others that you are recording.
Even with the light, recording video from your glasses is a lot less conspicuous than holding a phone up in front of your face. One of the downfalls of Google Glass is that people felt the design looked creepy. Being recorded without your knowledge or consent may be a huge concern after these glasses are put on the market. But that's already a problem with camera phones and hopefully, future designs of the frames will remain distinct yet trendy so that it can be easily recognized by others.
Snapchat has renamed itself Snap Inc. and it is rebranding itself as a camera company, with Snapchat and Spectacles as its first two products. It will be interesting to see how the rebranding helps or hurts them and if the glasses will take off or be another dud like Google Glass. Maybe Spectacles will have virtual reality capabilities in the 2.0 version.
Although Snapchat is very popular with the 30 and under crowd (they love the silly filters), news companies have used the app to share trending stories. Under the "Discover" screen, you can look through snap stories about NFL games, the presidential debate, and other national current events. These short clips give a behind the scenes look and make viewers feel as though they were at the event. It's the perfect way to keep people engaged with lots of content in a short amount of time.
And of course, you can view a snap story about the glasses. It even links to the in-depth Wall Street Journal interview with Snapchat co-founder, 26-year-old Evan Spiegel. He's pictured below in the white t-shirt.
It's not yet clear where and how they'll be available for purchase. If you want to know more about the social media app, check out these 3 Snapchat secrets revealed. Your kids are more than likely using it, so make sure you share with them these ways to protect themselves while using Snapchat.