Snapchat Inc, Snapchat Spectacles

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Over the weekend, Snapchat did two significant things: they changed their name and launched a new hardware known as Spectacles, which of course means glasses that you can wear on your face.

Snapchat Inc, Snapchat Spectacles
Snapchat Inc’s Spectacles

The change of the corporate name to Snapchat Inc, though a slightly insignificant to users, reveals Snapchat’s intention of how it wants to operate moving forward.

The name Snapchat Inc immediately conjures the image of a Wall Street firm already doing business with other serious corporations. This is mainly a re-branding thing that users of Snapchat won’t have much time for.

The men in suits, the corporate types who see everything in terms of financial numbers, would take the re-branding as the sort of thing more firms should be doing more often.

The glasses known as Spectacles

Apparently, Snapchat have been working on this glasses for over two years now. The first indication of this was when it was reported that Snapchat paid $15 million to buy a company that specializes in making glasses that could record videos.

Snapchat Inc, Snapchat Spectacles
Snapchat Inc CEO wearing a Spectacles protype

Though Snapchat wanted to make the official announcement yesterday, media reports forced the company to commission a piece on the Wall Street Journal about the glasses

Apparently Spectacles is Snapchat’s first piece of hardware. The product would be released officially before the end of this year and is going to cost $130 dollars. That is rather pricey if you are living in a country like Nigeria where exchange rates are outrageous.

After the debacle that was Google Glasses, Snapchat are brave enough to think that they can pull this off. For a company whose main product is targeted mostly at teenagers, they just might be able to do it.

I mean, they have pedigree in making mundane things like shooting videos with a phone and posting them online look very cool. So making a widely ridiculed product attractive to teens look cool won’t be beyond them.

Snapchat Inc CEO, Evan Spiegel, isn’t missing a beat when he called the device a toy. A rather playful name to call a gadget that is over $100. Calling it a toy should fit into the idea of making Spectacles a very cool thing to buy for teenagers.

And to appeal to teens (and some young at heart adults too), the Spectacles come in various colors: pinkish orange, bluish green, and black.

How to use Spectacles

Using the glasses should be easy. At least from the demonstration shown on the Spectacles website.

The upper limit for a length of video is 30 seconds. While the default or lower limit is 10 seconds.

Snapchat Inc, Snapchat Spectacles
Spectacles connects to phone wirelessly

To make a 10 seconds video, tap a button at the top of the glass. While if you want the longer 30 seconds video, you have to tap the button 3 times.

To upload the video for your friends to see on Snapchat, you need to send the video to your phone via Bluetooth or wireless connection. For those using iOS devices, the default transfer mode is Bluetooth but you can choose to use wireless connection.

If you don’t have your phone at hand, no problem. The glasses would store and keep the videos until you get to where your phone is.

Battery and charging

Though, the actual specs of the battery is not known, confirmed reports say the battery is strong enough to last an entire day.

Snapchat Inc, Snapchat Spectacles
Spectacle’s battery case/charger

The indicator at the front of the glasses that comes on when Spectacles is recording is also a battery indicator. Double tapping the indicator directly would reveal how much juice you have left in the device.

Spectacles comes with a charger and a charging case. Snapchat say the charging case, which also acts as a holder for the glasses, can charge the device up to four times when fully charged.

If you are thinking of rushing to the store to get them when they are finally released, I think you might be a bit disappointed though.

Snapchat say only a limited number would be made and sold to the public initially.

That is another way of saying they want to thread carefully. Basically testing the market to see the response from the public before mass producing them.

It is all about not taking a big hit on losses in case users decide Spectacles is not worth paying that much money for. Or even having as a device to complement other devices.


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