The Next Big Thing
Snap makes a Spectacle of itselfThe why behind the wacky: Snapchat Spectacles explained.
Why is Snapchat making glasses? I'm Brian Cooley in search of the next big thing. These are spectacles from Snapchat, now known as Snap. The parent company changing it's name to something more generic because. They aren't just in the social media business anymore. This is the actual set of spectacles. As you can see, they wouldn't look out of place in Elton John's dressing room. The idea here is pretty simple. There's a camera on the temple. They take ten second video clips In kind of an odd circular format and those get uploaded to your Snapchat account and that's it. They're not augmented or virtual anything, they don't learn, they don't take selfies. They're very simple single point usage devices and that may be where the magic lies. Scarcity is part of the strategy. These are sold for 130 bucks through an effemoral traveling vending machine. But that means street prices are in the hundreds or even thousands on Ebay. These are a gimmick in the kind of sense of the word and will probably find a minority, though a visible one, of users. But, that's enough to help position snapchat in its own space in a clouded social media market. To do so, some meaningful issues of electronic [INAUDIBLE]. Like being able to shoot photos without having to hold your arm out in front of you that tells the world, I'm shooting a photo. Having a media see that fishing something out of your bag or pocket, turning it on and activating it can't replicate. And these are hardware that says fun, not tool, which is what Google Glass said about themselves, or you for wearing them. Now you can bet Apple and Google are watching these very very intently. Not because they want to learn any lessons about software or sensor integration or Cloud integration. That's not the point here. They want to see what Snap can learn about scaling an almost insurmountable wall, getting us to wear technology on our face. Know what's next at CNET.com/NextBigThing. [MUSIC]