Snapchat Spectacles: The one we've been waiting for, or pure gimmick?

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Snapchat surprised us all by announcing their first piece of hardware on Friday evening. Snapchat Spectacles will be affordable, but not widely available. Will these glasses be a game-changer or just a flash in the pan that will die away?

Snapchat is a popular social platform for people of a certain demographic. Their offering was challenged earlier this year when Instagram unveiled "Stories". Most of the commentary around this story involved experts saying Snapchat must up their game to survive. 

Rather than adding a new breed of dog filter, Snapchat jumped right into the hardware game and released Spectacles. These glasses will be able to record 10-second bursts of video, which can then be shared on Snapchat. 

 

The company has said the Spectacles will be limited in number, but they have the potential to be hugely popular. 

Firstly, and most importantly, the glasses will be affordable. This was the fundamental issue with Google Glass. With a price tag of around €120, people will buy them just to see what they're like. You don't need to remortgage the house to have a go. 

Secondly, Snapchat are fully aware of the fact that these are just a bit of fun. It's not the future of AI, but it's the beginning of a new trend. 

If you read any of the predictions relating to the future of media and media consumption, you'll see that video is where we're going. Media publishers and social media users will be creating more video content than ever before. Having something like the Snapchat Spectacles makes perfect sense.

It's not quite clear why the company is limiting the production of the devices, but it's safe to say that we can expect more of these types of gadgets in the future.

While they may not blow anyone away, once they're unveiled, I have no doubt that the company will be quick to bring out a "new and improved" version. It'll be interesting to see who is next out of the traps to challenge them. 

Jessica Kelly, Newstalk.com 

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