We tend to think of vending machines as the answer to our “munchies” or eating vending machine products as a substitute for lunch. Vending machines have been slowly evolving as sales centers for other products. The newest product that is now in vending machines is Snap Spectacles, a wearable hardware device, for use with Snapchat. These are not your usual vending machines. They are bright yellow and dispense a clear tube with the Spectacles and all of the peripheral materials that you need. Also, they are limited in amount and locations.
What is Snapchat and Snap Inc.?
If you have a Smartphone, then you have access to Snapchat. It is the app that appears as a yellow ghost. The Snapchat app is a social messaging application for that is designed for the exchange of stylized photos or videos with special effects. These are known as “snaps”. Also, the app is used for text messages, called “chats” . The differentiation of Snapchat from other apps is that the majority of its content deletes itself after viewing, or after a short amount of time. In September of 2016, Snapchat introduces us to its new corporate name, Snap Inc., and a new hardware product with the name of Snap Spectacles.
What Are Snap Spectacles?
They are simply a pair of plastic sunglasses with a camera. They connect to your smartphone with the purpose of taking and sending snaps. You need to synch the sunglasses with your Snapchat app, and then the glasses wirelessly upload short videos to Snapchat. The Spectacles come in three different colors: black, teal, and coral. The design is similar to traditional Ray-Ban frames. Even with the camera, they are slim and light. The electronics are in the temples of the glasses. This allows for the rest of the frame and arms to feel like regular sunglasses.
Two yellow circles are at the ends of the glasses. One is where the camera is located. The other conceals a ring of LEDs that light up when the device is recording. If you do not have your phone with you, the glasses store your snaps until you are back in range of your phone. Snapchat uses a circular video format with Spectacles. When videos are saved or shared to other platforms it shows up as a circle of video.
When used in Snapchat, the format lets users twist and move their phone around to explore the full range of captured video. This is similar to micro augmented reality. A viewer can watch a video snap of a person in portrait orientation, and then turn their phone landscape to reveal two other friends to each side that they would not have been able to see otherwise. The usual creative effects on Snapchat are compatible with the videos taken by the Spectacles. They provide another avenue for storytelling or preserving memories.
What Are the Pros of Snap Spectacles?
- Spectacles are sunglasses. They are not strange or distracting.
- Videos can be viewed in any position that the user holds the phone.
- Works with both Android and iOS devices.
- Ease of recording. Basically hands-free. Just press a button.
- Affordable with a price around $130.00.
- A scannable QR code on the Spectacles website adds a limited-time filter to Snapchat for virtual try-ons.
- Privacy concerns are reduced. Other people are aware of when you are recording due to the ring of lights that shine when the wearer is recording a video.
- Videos are added to Snapchat with just the push of a button.
- Charges in its case. The glasses smoothly snap into the charging case. It holds enough power to recharge a pair of Spectacles four times. Each charge gives you about 100 Snaps. A Snap is equal to about 10 seconds of recording.
- The case recharges smoothly with a magnetic charging cable.
- You do not need to waste time grabbing your phone for a snippet, just touch the button on your sunglasses.
What Are the Cons of Spectacles?
- Slow Bluetooth connections. Syncing drains battery power.
- Camera quality is inferior when compared to cameras on Smartphones.
- Limited access to a Snapbot.
- Spectacles can only shoot outward. Selfie lovers find this as a disappointment. You are not in the video unless you hand your glasses to another person.
- Need to be adept with the use of Snapchat.
- Not sure if the Spectacles are recording. Practice is needed.
How Can They Be Purchased?
Snap Inc. reveals that you are actually able to buy a pair from bright yellow vending machines with the special name of “Snapbots” The Snapbots will travel around the country with the purpose of selling the devices. Each Snapbot will only be in a specific place for about a day. Prospective buyers are able to track where the Snapbots are located using a map on the Spectacles website. According to the company, Snapbots will be the only place where you will be able to buy a pair of Spectacles for the first few months. Due to the built-in camera on the Snapbot, potential buyers are virtually able to try on the Spectacles before buying.
What Is Contained in the Tube from the Snapbot?
- A pair of fun sunglasses.
- A recharging case with a USB cable is included.
- A cleaning cloth that is cut in the shape of the Snapchat ghost.
What Do Early Reviews Reveal?
- Lots of excitement.
- Fun and easy to use.
- Increases interest in Snapchat.
- Captures conversations more naturally. There is no wait time while getting a phone out.
- Their simplicity is much better than wearing a computer on your face. It will be a key to their success.
- Buyers praise the unique experience of buying a new tech product from a pop-up vending machine.
Snapchat Spectacles produce videos that reflect an individual’s perspective. They make shooting video much easier. They allow for spontaneous creativity. Snap Inc. is using a different marketing strategy. The company wants to be sure that the product meets the needs of buyers and that people are enjoying Snap Spectacles. The price of this item is not as expensive as most designer sunglasses. Snap Spectacles add a touch of fun and creativity to a mainstream product for daily use. The message of the company remains the same “create and share.” Spectacles and Snapbots are both innovative and intriguing.