In spring of this year, there were murmurs of Snapchat poaching wearable tech experts from the likes of Microsoft and Qualcomm Vuforia. This past weekend, their ambition to move beyond software into hardware became clearer in a Beyoncé-style surprise announcement. Alongside a snapper moniker, the company formerly known as Snapchat (now simply Snap Inc.) introduced Spectacles. Priced at £100 for a pair, the frames will have a built-in recording functionality rumoured to range from 10 to 30 seconds, signalling a potential shift from the standard 10-second Story format further down the line.
Think more GoPro and less Google Glass
One tap gives you 10 seconds of video capture. Two taps give you 30 seconds. Footage is recorded in a new Circular Format, viewable in full screen in any orientation. The result? Capturing “the human perspective with a 115-degree field of view.”
This is particularly noteworthy as other platforms have been moving towards adapting to vertical video despite initial resistance. Of all the news around Spectacles, Circular Video is the most interesting and innovative.
So how the heck do I get these videos uploaded to my Story/Memories?
On an Android Wi-Fi’s your go-to. On an iOS device, it’s Bluetooth. The Specs are enabled as a standalone device.
Opinions are mixed. I conducted a highly sophisticated poll on my personal Twitter account (@rafayagha) and only 20% of the votes indicated they would purchase the Specs themselves. I’m not buying their scepticism. The product is priced competitively (and more like a toy and less like a high-spec tech product) so the Spectacles are bound to make it onto the Christmas wish-lists of those oh-so-covetable hyper-connected millennials (and fun-seeking adults too, who, by the way, are adopting Snapchat at a hurried pace. Snapchat is the most ambitious and with moves into AR and 3D technology, Spectacles are a small glimpse into what they have their eyes on for the future.