Snap Inc. just released their first hardware product, Snapchat Spectacles. It's a pair of trendy glasses that record 10 to 30 second videos at the press of a button.
From my experience with consumer electronics, the quality of the glasses isn't anything special. And because of the neon colors and plastic feel, they look like a souvenir you'd snag from Venice Beach.
But it's not just about the product. You could say it's about the vision behind the product. These stupidly simple camera glasses are and will be disruptive in 2016 consumer tech for 3 reasons:
1. Spectacles change the way we record first person video.
The video from the Spectacles is shot from the first person perspective. Both hands are fully functional and the video follows the user's vision, as seen below from social media influencer and indule connoisseur Dylan Skonik opening a bottle of 2012 Pinot during Thanksgiving, riding a bike and fist bumping a fellow baus on Strath, and climbing over rocks on a hike:
These lively clips make traditional Snapchats look boring, static, and non-engaging.
2. Spectacles advertise themselves.
Each time someone posts a Snapchat with Spectacles, the viewer experiences the new type of Snapchat and it reads "sent from Spectacles" in the top left corner. The excitement of someone Snapchatting with the Spectacles organically creates free targeted advertising then viewed by all their Snapchat friends. The growth in organic "word of Snapchat" sales will be yuge as a direct result. #baus
3. Snapchat hyped their product like an LA club would.
When people think of Google they think nerdy, Silicon Valley, tech company. When people think of Snap Inc. they think trendy, Los Angeles, beach startup.
They initially limited the supply by requiring people to purchase the Spectacles in person from vending machines temporarily placed at cool destinations throughout LA. This parallels the bung in Santa Monica only letting in a few people at a time to create a large line, which draws in even more attention and hype.
I personally picked up mine at the UCLA - USC football game at the Rose Bowl courtesy of my good friend Dylan. I was one of the first 1,000 people in the world to receive the product.
Due to this limited supply, the Spectacles were being resold online for over $1,000, despite the $130 face value. Absurd. But their business is about to be boomin'. #bausness
Their strategy worked.
In the end, Snap Inc. pulled off a stunt that tech great Google could not even pull off. And although the glasses enhance the ability for everyone to produce first person footage, Spectacles ultimately manifest a new platform of possibilities for content creators.
"While the first version of the product has limited functionality and is slightly bulky, the potential of the technology excites me as a creative-minded individual. This technology will open endless doors for content creators and change the way we capture video."
As Snap, Inc.'s first hardware product comes to market and stores pop up around the world, sit back and watch as they disrupt the way we record video. Their vision behind their product is larger than anyone ever guessed and is certainly larger than their IPO will be in 2017.
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