When Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel unveiled the Spectacles in September, the product was likened to the discontinued Google Glass. They were both described as smartglasses, with a shared function of recording videos.
However, as the Spectacles has been released by Snapchat, now known as Snap Inc. after their move into the hardware business, one thing is clear: the Spectacles is nothing like the Google Glass, and it has skyrocketed in popularity because of that distinction.
Snap Spectacles vs. Google Glass
The Google Glass, which was released in 2013 as the evolution of augmented reality, was not able to live up to the hype. Users who wore it were known as Glassholes, as people around them were uncomfortable with being possibly recorded by the device. Google ended consumer sales and shut down social media accounts for the Google Glass in 2016, with the team instead focusing on the device's enterprise edition.
The Spectacles, in comparison, does not feature augmented reality technology with a futuristic design. Instead, the device is designed for utmost simplicity, allowing users to record 10-second video clips at a touch of a button, with the videos being sent straight to the Snapchat app.
According to sources, Snap does not want wearers of Spectacles to be seen in a similar vein as Glassholes, which is why the device lights up while it is recording, so that people around the wearer will not think that they are being recorded all the time.
In addition, while marketing for the Google Glass mostly showed the technical applications of the device, or big names in the tech industry wearing it, the advertisements for the Spectacles are colorful and look like they are taken out of a fashion magazine.
Snap Spectacles Popularity
Snap is doing everything it can to differentiate the Spectacles from the Google Glass, and the company's efforts have allowed the device to hit high levels of popularity. This is especially true among young people, who also compose the main market of the company's flagship Snapchat ephemeral messaging service.
The decision of the company to sell the Spectacles through weird-looking, Minion-like vending machines that appear in a city for 24 hours before disappearing, similar to the self-deleting messages sent through Snapchat, have set up the device as a fun and exclusive status symbol that the target market is clamoring for.
It is too early to tag Snap's Spectacles as a success, but by being the anti-Google Glass, the device has already reached a better spot on the coolness meter than Google's offering ever achieved.