A Social Spectacle by Snapchat
by Rebecca Potzner, Contributing Writer
Fitbits, Apple watches and now Snapchat Spectacles are quickly helping wearable tech become the norm. Even though we all know how Google Glass panned out, these Spectacles are well, quite the spectacle. Fashionable and functional, Spectacles are strictly a video camera wearable. There’s no secret sorcery behind it. In fact, both you and the people around you will know when you’re recording. Intrigued yet? Let’s take a look at how Snapchat Spectacles work and how they’re changing the story.
WHO CAN USE THEM
According to Hootsuite, ages 18 to 24 make up 37% of Snapchat’s demographic. In a close second, ages 25 to 34 comprise 26%. Both demos hit an age of consumers that typically don’t mind spending $130 on a novelty tech item. While these age ranges may come at a surprise, there is still a large population of users that are under the age of 18. Spectacles were created for all Snapchat users regardless of age. At this point in time, it’s just a matter of whether or not they can get their hands on a pair…
WHERE TO BUY THEM
You’ve heard about them, you’ve seen photos and you’ve accepted the price. Now, how do you get your hands on a pair of Snapchat Spectacles? Well, this precise question has been the key to hyping up the product. Unavailable online or in stores, Spectacles are sold through a Snapbot, a Snapchat branded, minion-esque vending machine that is dropped at remote locations around the country. The location of the Bot is undisclosed until it lands. You can keep an eye on the time of landing at spectacles.com. If this treasure hunt style of shopping isn’t for you, a Snapbot pop-up shop can be found in New York City on East 59th Street. As all pop-up shops do, this location will disappear after February 19. Snapchat’s pop-up retail approach leaves a sense of exclusivity and intrigue.
Want to get a feel for how they’ll look? Visit spectacles.com and snap the code located in the bottom right hand corner. A special 24 hour filter will pop up allowing you to “try on” the Spectacles. Open your mouth to change the color of the glasses.
WHAT YOU GET
Falling from the Snapbot, the Spectacles are enclosed in a sturdy, clear tube. Inside, a yellow case that duals as the charger, a USB charging cord, a cleaning cloth, a mini manual and the Spectacles themselves.
**Smart phone not included
HOW THEY WORK
Crack open the case and put those shades on. Setup and use are just as easy as the app itself. Sitting in the corner of each lens are two smaller circles. One is an LED light that circles when it’s recording. On that very same side sits another light but it’s behind the lens, alerting the user when recording starts and then flashing two times to alert that time is up. A button sits on the top left side of the shades and controls when you want to start recording. Tap the side of the glasses and the light will go off indicating how much battery is left.
Last but not least, the right circle is the actual camera. The scope of the camera extends further than your smartphone lens, taking in a 115 degree view. This allows for the 10-second videos to be viewed in both landscape and portrait. Upload the snap and turn your phone to the side to get the full effect.
Spectacles pair with your Snapchat account by using Bluetooth. Simply open up the app to the screen showcasing your personal code, press record while looking at the code and ta-da, you’re ready to roll.
Once recorded, the snaps will upload to the memories section of the app. There you can give your Spectacles story a name, add text or a filter and then share.
HOW THEY CAN CHANGE THE STORY
Before, the story was in the palm of your hands. Now, your story becomes more personal through your own eyes.
With this new view, camera movement seems more fluid, your body tends to enter the frame and both hands are free. (Look Ma, no hands!). Having the ability to use both hands during a video not only opens up countless opportunities, but it makes things more intriguing. A scene at a local market instantly becomes more compelling as the person reaches for fresh fruit as opposed to just scanning the selection. Instead of seeing a record playing, now you can see me put the record on the Crosley player and drop the pin.
For events such as concerts, Spectacles could be quite the game changer. Without the use of our hands, Spectacles help eliminate the amount of smartphones being held up over the crowd. Users can still focus on the experience of the live show while capturing their experience with just a quick tap of a button. No views are obstructed and no moments were missed.
Now, we can get behind the tennis racket with Serena Williams, take a look at latte art from a barista's perspective, play catch with Ezekiel Elliott, learn how to write in calligraphy with our favorite Instagrammer or take the stage with a Rockette. Of course, you don’t need a celebrity to tell a story. Spectacles give anyone the freedom to create and share a story. It’s up to us to figure out how to make it interesting.