Who would have thought the words, Revolutionary will be used to describe Spectacles. In Snapchat’s case, their spectacles are Revolutionary but not in ways you think it is. They are revolutionary not because of the technology, they are revolutionary because of the Idea and the Execution.
Talking about Snapchat, they are the darlings of the younger millenials and the hottest company on earth. Any company that is a hit with the younger lot are always the hottest, because they have connections with the future change makers of the world. Snapchat hopes to create an environment where these change makers are showcasing their work to the world through their platform.
Now, Snapchat has been one of these companies that arrived late to the Social bandwagon and have quietly paved their way around all the behemoths by avoiding many of Facebook’s acquisition efforts and blatant plagiarizing. Instagram, a Facebook property now have also copied their ‘Stories’ feature. You would have thought at that point of time (When Snapchat was launching) that there was no opportunity for another Social network, but backed some smart psychology and gaps they saw on Facebook’s platform, they created their own niche.
Facebook became a tool to show-off and the younger millenials did not want any part of it and they shifted to Snapchat. Another reason was the permanent residence their photos took in the databases of social networks. Snapchat’s promise of deleting their snaps after 10 seconds was more than alluring for the edgy teenagers and tweens.
This clearly shows that Snapchat has been a thinking company. They don’t copy and they get copied. In their latest move, Snapchat in my opinion has blasted away the competition with a strategy and Idea nobody knew they or anyone else will take.
Snapchat made spectacles with an attached Camera that could take 10 second snaps. Generally when you think of Social Networks and such products, you are thinking apps and added features on the apps. Snapchat aren’t about features. They are about bigger picture decisions that give their audience better tools for expression. They want people to create original and personable content through their medium and no better way than the spectacles.
Now you can say, Google failed at it. Talking about Google, they have failed at a lot of their recent product launches and their strategy for Google Glass was too far fetched. People wouldn’t walk In public with those glasses on their face. Snapchat have made the spectacles look similar to the ones in the market, even without the camera in it, these glasses are fashion accessories that are in trend.
Snapchat Spectacles are aimed at the “Selfie” generation that is constantly updating their Snapchat feeds with the daily things they do. Young adults are looking to be topics of conversation and also want to be entertaining and be seen as cool among their friends. Snapchat has sensed this opportunity and brought in the Spectacles which makes it super easy to capture these activities with a simple press on the spectacles.
The Spectacles itself
The Spectacles look like your everyday glasses with two circles on either side. One is a camera and the other is a LED light. The megapixel of the camera isn’t discussed, but we’re assuming it is just functional for everyday use and not that good for high quality images and snaps.
The LED lights play multiple roles. It’s lit up, when recording, this lets the person looking at the camera that a snap is in progress. This takes away the “Creepy” aspect of secret filming.
The LED lights also are indicators that point to different statuses of the glass. For a complete set of Indicators and error list check this link
One of the best features we’ve seen is the Box in which the Spectacles comes. It acts as a protector of the spectacles when not in use and it also helps in charging the device. You can charge the device directly as well. It’s supposed to charge to a full 100% in 1.5 hours. This is a lot of time in this day and age, but they are sure to improve.
There are some neat gestures that are built-in. To check the battery level in the device, there is the long way of checking it through the app, otherwise you can double tap on the LED light side and see how visually how much percentage is left, similar to a power bank.
Snapchat don’t talk about how long the protective case takes for charging, but one complete charge of the case can charge the spectacles four times completely.
One obvious feature Snapchat is worried about is the heating of the device. As it is a wearable and in the user’s face, they don’t want any unwanted mishaps. To counter this, they have a special LED signal that lights up in case the device is too heated.
The Marketing Effort
Snapchat’s product launches are these soft but viral launches. They are in a niche of their own. They didn’t do a full scale event calling a hundred media houses and giving them samples. The media had to do the same thing as normal folk to get hold of the spectacles. So what did Snapchat do?
They created these Snapbots which are these cute yellow colored vending machines that look like minions and they secretly dropped in them in certain places with the spectacles in them. But, the twist is, these Snapbots wouldn’t remain there for more than a few hours, they keep travelling. This created a Pokemon Go like rush for a hardware product where people would wait for the updates from Snapchat and try to get a hold of the gadget. This first reviews of the product came from the users themselves and not the media. This is quite telling.
This just shows creativity is in the finer details. They did not botch their launch like Google by shoving the spectacles and pushing the agenda. They made people want it and crave for it. They didn’t also treat it like a geeky-tech product. They want it to be like a toy that people play with.