Snapchat is a phenomenon. Founded only seven years ago in California, it captured the imagination of young users with it’s fun smart-phone app that sends self-destructing photos to your friends.
It has more than 150 million daily users and now has a stock market worth of about $15 Billion. Now, to continue fuelling growth and expansion, the company has moved in to wearable tech and this has come in the form of an odd looking pair of glasses, Snap Spectacles.These are no ordinary sunglasses and they can record up to ten seconds of video that you can post online, wirelessly straight from the Spectacles to Snapchat.
My Spectacles arrived in a transparent tubular box containing the bright yellow storage case containing the glasses. Unpacking the glasses reveals a pretty standard pair of vintage styled sunglasses. The sandwich shaped storage case also doubles as the charging unit and there’s a special Spectacles USB charging cable included in the pack.
I charged up the glassed and you then use the Snapchat app itself to pair them to your smartphone using Bluetooth. The app shows your unique code and you simply look at the code with the glasses on for the seamless pairing process.
Using the glasses is, well, a snap. There are two small circular rings at the top of each lens, and one of these is where the video camera is located. On the left arm of the glasses, near the front is the record button. To start recording video, you simply tap this button.
To let your friends or family know the camera’s rolling, a small circular light on the front of the glasses will pulse, letting people know they should put on their best face. It’s like a digital version of ‘say-cheese’ but it’s clever and helps Snap indicate that these are not intended as an intrusive technology, but a fun one.
When the video is finished, because the glasses are connected by Bluetooth to your phone the video will appear in the Snapchat app on your phone, in the Memories folder. Once it’s there, you can decide if you want to post it to Snapchat, or save it to your phone or share it other ways.
I was a little disappointed with battery performance and the Spectacles don’t perform brilliantly in low-light. The pairing process is wonderfully simple and the video quality is good. Most of all though, these are incredible fun. Snap have been careful to design the Spectacles so people know what they are and video is being filmed – this is not Google glass, and Snap are careful to make that clear,
For a well priced wearable gadget though, the build quality is excellent and the charging case is clever and compact with a rugged style USB cable. Snapchat changed how a generation take photographs and with Spectacles, they’re likely to have another hit on their hands.
More info at spectacles.com