Snapchat Spectacles: Social Meets Wearables

At the intersection of social media and wearable tech, I was thrilled to try out Snapchat Spectacles. Mainly as a novelty, this gadget provides a snapshot (Snapchat?) of future trends.

I chose the black pair, which are the most subtle compared to aqua blue and yellow. Walking down the street, I did get a few looks. They may not be that much different than my black cat eye sunglasses, but the rim’s yellow circles don’t necessarily blend in, especially if one is lighting up.

To use, you press the button on the left side of the Specs. While recording in 10-second spurts, the light flashes. If you’re snapping someone else, they can see the countdown, and you can also see it in your peripherals. You can press the button multiple times to increase the length in 10-second increments.

Pro tip: don’t snap strangers and don’t assume they don’t know what you’re wearing. Better safe than sorry 🙂

After recording, the Snapchats are immediately uploaded to your phone’s app via Bluetooth. They take a few seconds to import, but you can still add filters, stickers, and text to send to friends or upload to your Story. If you don’t upload right away, you’ll still be able to view “highlights” from all of your recordings.

Personally, I think the parallax view is the coolest part about the Specs. When watching a Snapchat from the Specs, your view will remain upright while turning your phone. Your Snapchat is both portrait and landscape, depending on the direction of your phone. This means that stickers or text might roll out of view temporarily depending on the Snapchat. When I told my friends they can see the parallax too, they were amazed. It’s funny how something relatively simple can change our perceptions.

If viewed on your Photos or any other app, it shows up in a circle. Not as cool.

Charging is easy, either within the case or directly into a USB port. You can tap your sunglasses and see the battery status, too.

I like that they’re easy to share. A team member quickly and easily connected the Specs to his phone without accessing any of my Snapchats. When you look at your app’s Snap Code with your Specs, you’re immediately recognized. Connection requires is a few taps on your Snapchat app and your Specs, all in less than a minute.

A couple complaints: Unfortunately, video isn’t of the highest quality. It’s comparable to GoPro unless you’re on Wi-Fi. With Wi-Fi, you can use HD and take much better Snapchats. It feels funny wearing sunglasses inside or at night, but I imagine sunglasses would be more aesthetically appealing than clear lenses anyway.

Will Snapchat Specs change the way people use Snapchat? Of course not, but it makes social media hands-free. Social media is becoming more real-time, creating fewer opportunities to “fake” social media. Authenticity is key (trust me – ever heard of a *Finsta?*), and Snapchat Specs allow others to walk in your footsteps – literally.

What are your thoughts on the Specs? How do you think Facebook and Instagram will copy Snap Inc. next?

++ Mary K


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