Snapchat has just opened an entire retail store right down the road from its Venice Beach, California headquarters to sell what, you may ask? Snapchat Spectacles. The glasses come with an integrated camera, microphone, LED indicator lights, a record button and even a charging port, whew! All so that you can look cool while catching rays and recording your new “greatest summertime hits” of Snapchat. The thing is, the Spectacles are actually pretty stylish, unlike their defunct and complicated grandfather, Google Glass. They are straightforward to use and make the Snapchat experience more immersive and personal.
The glasses are Snap, Inc.’s first foray into wearable devices and hardware, and before going all-out and renting a storefront in Venice Beach, they first dropped pop-up yellow vending machines called Snapbots into different cities around the U.S., each of which contained a limited number of the $130 Spectacles. Then, there was a temporary store in New York City. Snapchat ended their guerrilla marketing technique when they made the glasses available for order online (at Spectacles.com, just in case you wanted to know). The Spectacles come in three colors: black, teal and coral and come with a charging case, a USB cable and a cloth to clean the glasses which is of course shaped like a ghost. The battery can last for about 100 10-second Snaps, and after syncing your Spectacles with the app, your recorded Snaps will automatically download to your phone when it is within wifi range.
With the current wearables market not looking so hot, Snap, Inc. is taking a risk with the launch of yet another wearable gadget, but they don’t care. YOLO, man. The company has always been targeted towards younger, more tech-savvy users (which pretty much just means teenagers). It is intentionally more difficult to use than apps or social networks that your grandma uses, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. And the whole point of Snapchat is the ephemeral nature of the communication. Right now the glasses are not a huge part of Snap, Inc.’s revenue stream, but the company, which is billing itself as a “camera company that sells toys to the connected generation” is apparently trying to diversify its products before its upcoming IPO.