Multibillion dollar mobile application giant, Snapchat, which has now rebranded as Snap Inc. has revealed plans to venture into the augmented and virtual reality market by releasing a new product to the market.
Called Spectacles and estimated to cost around $130 (US) a pair, these glasses will allow you to tap the side of the frame and record 10 seconds of whatever you’re seeing. The glasses film 115-degrees wide to mimic human perception, and records a round image that creates videos outside the bounds of standard rectangular cropping. The video captured will directly connect to the Snapchat app via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, ready to be shared instantaneously .
The news isn’t a surprise with Snap Inc. being at the forefront of changing the way we communicate with each other since its launch in 2011. Known for taking risks, CEO of the company, Evan Spiegel told The Wall Street Journal when announcing the product, “Imagine one of your favorite memories, what if you could go back and see that memory the way you experienced it? That’s why we built Spectacles.”
Trying to sensationalise on an idea which we correlate with Google’s failed Google Glass, Snapchat is taking the opposite route and creating a product which is intended to aesthetically look and film videos that are not serious but are more casual and appealing for the everyday user. The announcement of this product is already receiving more positive reactions than that of the Google Glass given it cheaper and therefore more accessible, more fashionable by not trying too hard to look futuristic and lastly by understanding its place in the market. It’s not about asserting something into its demographics hands and forcing them to adapt an unknown territory but rather seeing how it fits into their lives and understand its capabilities.
Josh Elman who is a partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners told CNBC that their, “brand is so strong with people in their early 20s that they might sell a lot more of these than anybody is predicting. They’re positioning it as this fun toy for people to engage with, not something that you need to think about as your next big technology investment”.
Marketing itself in a way similar to Action Camera company, GoPro, Snapchat is aiming to engage with its demographic and get them more involved with new technologies in a way that is not intimidating or overwhelming.