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Spectacles: Like SnapChat, But For Your Face

Snapchat's new technology hopes to succeed where others have failed

What if you could go back and see a memory the way you experienced it?, photo: Pexels
By Peter Appleby Whatsapp Twitter Facebook Share
12 months ago


Remember Google Glass and its spectacular failure? Well Snap, the company behind Snapchat, a hugely popular mobile app that allows you to record ten-second bursts of video and send it to friends, is the next contender vying to make glasses-themed technology the next big thing. Revealed last week, the company is yet to state when and where their product will be available.

The unoriginally named new creation, Spectacles, are Snap’s answer to the question the company posed itself; “What if you could go back and see a memory the way you experienced it?”

Sticking to the Snapchat model, Spectacles allows the wearer to record ten-second snippets of video, with the option to extend this to 20 or 30 seconds. Unlike Snapchat, Spectacles offers a first-person perspective on the recorded experience. They are also available in three colors: black, coral and the always popular teal.

Snap has marketed Spectacles more like “GoPro for your life,” according to The Verge, than serious reality augmenting technology, as Google Glass was intended. But GoPro is generally used for extreme sports to offer a palpable experience of an already exciting event, like a base jumper flinging themselves off a mountain or someone diving with sharks. Spectacles, however, cannot offer this.

GoPro, is a tried and tested means of video capture that is massively popular for good reason. Unlike Spectacles, which is yet to state the image quality of their videos, GoPro offers HD quality in adverse environments. GoPro customers can also buy additional mounts, that enable the camera to be placed on their chest or on top of a helmet, giving what is effectively a first-person view.

Compared to Google Glass, Spectacles offers a much better price. At $130 they will be around a tenth of the cost of Google Glass. Additionally, they’re unlikely to promise the world and then be plagued by problems.

Google Glass was a failure for numerous reasons, including concerns over privacy and legality, that Spectacles won’t suffer. And new technologies usually fail in their first few incarnations. But whether Spectacles will be more Snapchat, less Google Glass, is something only time will tell.

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