The Snapchat Spectacles was released last November 10. This latest addition to the line of smart glasses does not have much to offer when it comes to innovation, but it is causing quite a stir because of the way that it has been marketed.
Not Much of a Spectacle
The Snapchat Spectacle is not the usual sunglasses that you can expect from an internet company. It has a camera that can take 10-second videos which can then be posted on Snapchat. The camera and the battery are housed on the two sides of the frame. The camera has a 115° field of view. It records videos in a circular format which would adapt to the size and the orientation pf the screen where it is being displayed.
A user can start recording videos by tapping a button on the side of the frame. The device will then sync with the right smartphone through Wi-Fi or through Bluetooth. The camera also has LED lights that would indicate when it is recording and its battery level. It comes in a case where it can be charged, which in turn is connected using its proprietary cable.
The glasses are designed for use with Snapchat. The glasses must be connected with the user's Snapchat account.
All of this means that Snapchat Spectacles have very limited use. The 10-second limit of the videos means that they do not have much use outside of Snapchat. Aside from recording very short videos that can be posted on Snapchat, the glasses have no other purpose, except maybe as actual sunglasses.
But the limited use of Spectacles has not hurt its debut and people are very interested in getting the devices. That is because the smartglasses are benefiting from a smart marketing ploy.
The Marketing of the Spectacles
From the start, Snapchat has marketed the Spectacles more as a toy than a high-tech device. A toy doesn't need to be useful. That's why it doesn't matter even if it can only take 10-second videos.
Then the company started selling it through pop-up vending machines, the Snapbots. That move has generated a great deal of interest among users. People are lining up on the Snapbots to pay $130 for sunglasses with a camera. That move is generating a lot of free publicity as people eagerly awaited where the next Snapbot would pop up.
Snapchat is not selling a lot of the sunglasses with the move, but experts argue that selling a lot of the glasses is not the ultimate aim of the company. They could be eyeing the positive publicity and PR boost that it is generating for the company's upcoming IPO.