Stepping Outside of “Social”: Snapchat Announces New Hardware

On September 24th, The Wall Street Journal introduced us to Snapchat’s first piece of technical hardware, Spectacles. At first glance, these may appear as a (weird) regular pair of sunglasses, but with further inspection, the glasses contain wide angle cameras. By tapping the sides, the glasses record 10-second videos that will be synced to your mobile device via Bluetooth and shared via the Snapchat app. These will be creating more first-person interactions and allowing Snapchat to thrive without being forced to use the device’s camera. This allows more hands-free freedom for capturing moments while not forced behind the concept of holding a phone, stopping, posting and repeat.

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Spectacles will cost around $130, affordable to middle-class millennial interested in the new technology. While there isn’t an exact launch date announced yet, their website says they’re “landing soon” and expected to launch before the holiday season. The idea of Spectacles is not to be able to record things in a concealed manner, they’re about fun and that’s what the CEO Evan Spiegel is aiming for. The goals are so clear that the camera will light up when activated to clearly show the surrounding area that footage is being
taken.

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Other changes to Snaphat has been a name change, the name of the app will stay the same but the tech firm will now be called Snap Inc. due to moving into fields outside the app. This is not the only thing Snapchat is doing to seem as something other than as a social network. For example, they have moved from the category of “Social” to “Photo and Camera” in the app store. Similarly, Twitter has moved from “Social” to the “News” section. Apps are making these types of changes to their branding to be seen as something more than a social connection, offering things like technical cameras, political live streaming, news updates, etc. Trying to make this transition are things that down the road ideally will reign in more income. If considering myself as an active social media user, before I was actively using Twitter for important notifications for things relevant to my life and the world sent directly to me via push notifications, I would have never considered paying for Twitter, but now it has become such a staple in how I learn about current events I would not mind paying a small monthly or yearly subscription to be able to use it.

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Snap Inc. is constantly innovating itself, providing what seems as a constant stream of new and desirable features, the Spectacles are their next step towards success. But if we (college students) are one of their main targets, what do we think? Are Spectacles more appealing than other alternatives like Google Glass? Could Spectacles become the first mainstream facial recording device?

Sources
http://www.adweek.com/news/technology/snapchat-just-debuted-new-video-enabled-glasses-its-first-hardware-product-173700
http://www.wsj.com/articles/snapchat-releases-first-hardware-product-spectacles-1474682719
https://www.spectacles.com/
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4 responses to “Stepping Outside of “Social”: Snapchat Announces New Hardware

  1. These changes are the first of many moves into making social features inherent in any platform. Platforms should be social, and so many sites are social platforms that offer a specific subset of features in some genre of media. Twitter is short social news, Reddit is centralized social news through communities, Snapchat and Instagram are social cameras, etc. At this point platforms either connect to social media in one way or another or offer their own flavor. Why bother specifying an application as social when that doesn’t even describe it anymore.

  2. While the price of the glasses does deter me from purchasing them, the concept of being able to capture moments almost instantly is very appealing. I would love to utilize the features of snapchat without going through the hassle of pulling my phone out as I feel in most cases it interrupts the genuine feeling of the moment. This is a great product idea as it only allows room for the company to expand (videos longer than 10 seconds, updated versions, etc).

  3. Technology moves at such a rapid pace. In the past I would have dismissed such an idea as foolish. Now I can see how this would be embraced by this generation. I can imagine parents with young children capturing those “firsts” via their sunglasses or even regular glasses. Thanks for sharing.

  4. This is an A+ idea mostly because when I want to catch something on Snapchat, it’s usually something quick that’s gone by the time I pull out my phone, unlock it, and open the app. Too bad the glasses are so ugly though.

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