Snap Inc. creates Spectacles, introduces itself as camera company

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One of the features of Snap Inc.’s Spectacles is a flashing light showing people you are recording them. Brandon Doyle believes the light will make Spectacles “less creepy” than Google Glass, which didn’t have one. (Instagram/@dankaufmannyc)

Snapchat announced Sept. 23 the release of Spectacles and the renaming to Snap Inc. This has established the company as a company that sells cameras, according to snap.com.

Spectacles are similar in appearance to Google Glass. Brandon Doyle, founder of Wallaroo Media and professor in the adjunct department at BYU, believes Spectacles will be better than Google Glass because they promise less.

“(Google Glass’s) focus was they wanted to be everything … Snap is … positioning themselves more as a toy,” Doyle said.

They will be one-size-fits-all glasses in teal, black or coral, according to techcrunch.com. The glasses will shoot 150-degree wide video for 10-30 seconds and have a light to warn people they’re on camera.

It will also store video that can be offloaded onto a mobile device via WiFi or Bluetooth and have a battery-life of about one day.

It can get up to four recharges with a portable charging case, according to techcrunch.com.

Daniella Abbott, a public relations BYU graduate and team lead of social media and public relations at Wallaroo Media, said the $130 cost of Spectacles will appeal to buyers more than the cost of Google Glass, initially about $1500.

Abbott said she might wear Spectacles, but not very often.

“If I was traveling I’d wear them … but I wouldn’t wear them to do anything remotely useful,” Abbott said.

Adam Durfee is Wallaroo’s director of social media strategy and digital public relations and an adjunct BYU professor. Durfee believes Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snap Inc., wants to reinvent the camera.

“He wants people to take video, that looks just the way they saw it, so they can relive a memory,” Durfee said.

Durfee believes Spiegel is just testing the water with Spectacles to see if Snap Inc. can sell hardware and if people will be interested in Snap Inc.’s cameras.

“They only have a limited release at a fairly low price, so I’m not convinced they’re even trying to make much money on the product,” Durfee said.

Doyle believes Spectacles will become more than just a camera.

“It’s going to be, probably, what Google Glass always wanted to be. (Snap Inc.) is just taking a different approach,” Doyle said.

Doyle also anticipates Snap Inc. will try and market Spectacles to a couple of celebrities in order to get it to take off. He believes Google can’t sell Google Glass to celebrities because they look nerdy.

“(Spectacles) are going to look cool,” Doyle said. “They’re going to maybe look a little weird at first, but they’re still going to look cool.”

Snap Inc. officially announced 41 percent of the 18 to 34 age group in the U.S. use Snapchat 25 to 30 minutes a day, according to Doyle.

Doyle believes Snap Inc. will try and strengthen the hold it has now with Millennials, as opposed to trying to make a profit initially on Spectacles.

“I think the whole approach is make something cool, make it perfect, worry about (making money) later,” Doyle said.

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