Devices > Wearables Blog

Effortless Video Capture & 100M AU's Make Snapchat Spectacles Stand Out

by Cliff Raskind | Sep 25, 2016

Snapchat, the hot $18 billion internet property known for ephemeral video messaging and over 100 million daily users, has finally made an official play into hardware, trimming its name down to simply "Snap" in the process. The launch of Snapchat 'Spectacles' orSnap Specs which they will likely come to be known as, confirms the company's long rumored video capture glasses.


By design, Spectacles are unashamedly youthful. And with two very obvious cameras a pair of these black, blue or coral Specs will not be mistaken for ordinary glasses. A ring of bright LEDs beside each lens also advertises to the world that up to 30 seconds of video capture is underway. The $130 (retail) glasses tout a 115-degree field of view camera sensor to capture videos from "the human perspective" and be siphoned up to the cloud -- something that is in my view absolutely crucial to the product. Spectacles can reportedly last a full day on a single charge and the rechargeable case can keep them going for up to a week between charges. All very user friendly.


As depicted in Strategy Analytics' proprietary wearables topology below, using glasses for capturing User Generated Content (as well as playing UGC back to the user) is a prominent part of the long term vision for wearables. Given Snap's massive installed base, Snap Specs (while not truly smartglasses) are an important launch point for mass market wearables beyond the wrist.

UGC in Topology FULL

It is critical to frame the long term outlook on wearables by mapping out the unique INPUTS and OUTPUTS that wearable tech brings to the table--and short ofimplantables nothing has the potential to capture human experiences the way glasses can.

The reality is that both consumer and enterprise offerings that seek to leverage wearable tech will only meet success to the extent they exploit-

  • The inputs that can be best gleaned off of a wearable device (the horizontal axis above). This includes environmental inputs, biosensor inputs, experiential capture/playback and deliberate user actions to initiate, control, command and dictate (with voice being critical).
  • The outputs to the end-user that a wearable is best suited to deliver (the vertical axis above). This includes an assured notification mechanism, glanceability for convenience and discretion and opportunities for rich content consumption (mostly above the neck for audio today and video tomorrow)

So far connected wristwear has largely failed on most of these fronts, as reflected in the tepid adoption of wearables we track within our Wearable Device Ecosystem service. However the transformative potential of wearable tech should not be underestimated! Industry heavyweights that grasp the long term promise continue to place huge bets.


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