Snapchat just revealed its first physical product - the Spectacles. The Spectacles are a pair of glasses that record 10-second videos from a built-in camera. The captured video is then automatically uploaded to the wearer's Snapchat account via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, without having to connect to a smartphone.
Why would people want to use these sunglasses instead of a camera phone? The Spectacles take videos differently from a regular Smartphone camera. Snapchat's special glasses capture video in a circular format, which "plays full screen on any device, in any orientation, and captures the human perspective with a 115-degree field of view," according to a post in the Snapchat blog.
When asked whether these glasses would be a sensible replacement for Snapchat apps in smartphones, CEO Evan Spiegel said that the device is a toy that's meant for having fun. Spiegel said that the device can be a fun alternative "to be worn for kicks at a barbecue or an outdoor concert" and to give users a break from holding up their phones every time they want to use the app.
Along with the Spectacles unveiling is the renaming of the firm from Snapchat to Snapchat, Inc. With over 150 million daily users and a newly launched physical product, the new name is to signify that its services now go beyond the Snapchat app.
There are slight concerns over privacy and spying when using the Spectacles, which might lead to a failed launch, just like Google Glass. Snapchat, however, planned ahead and is avoiding the same pitfall by placing an indicator light in front of the glasses, which turns on when it's recording.
The Spectacles is expected to be available later this year for $130, and will come in three different colors (black, teal and coral). The glasses will be up for limited release in the U.S., as Spiegel stated that the company is going to "take a slow approach in rolling them out."