Snapchat is starting to explore greater horizons with its video-capturing capabilities as it recently introduced its first hardware product called Spectacles, a one-size-fits-all pair of sunglasses that can record 10 seconds of video at a time.
During an interview with The Wall Street Journal, the 26-year-old Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel challenges how a pair of video sunglasses should instead replace smartphone in capturing the moment through its camera that uses a 115-degree-angle lens, wider than a typical smartphone's and much closer to the eyes' natural field of view.
"One of the advantages of Spectacles is not having to hold a smartphone in front of your face because it's 'like a wall'. Re-watching first-person footage is like reliving a memory. Spectacles gives Snap control of a physical camera, bypassing the smartphone cameras. There could be 'far-reaching implications' if Snap controlled the hardware its users take pictures and video with," Spiegel said.
More so, MacRumors reported that the glasses records when user taps a button near the hinge, and each tap records 10 seconds of video footage from its 115-degree-angle lens. The video is recorded in a circular format, like a fish-eye rendering effect as Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel argues that the "square and rectangle form that photos and videos currently come in are a vestige of early photos being printed on paper."
Spiegel refers to Spectacles as a "toy," and that the best use of it would be to wear it at an outdoor concert or barbecue "for kicks." Furthermore, Spectacles will naturally be compared to Google Glass, however, being less conspicuous and cheaper. Spiegel says Snapchat wants to "figure out if it fits into people's lives and seeing how they like it."
Aside from the announcement of its first hardware, Snapchat has also changed its company name to Snap Inc., as it has expanded its portfolio past its Snapchat app, similar to how Apple changed its name from Apple Computer.
Spiegel considered the moniker Snap Inc. appropriate to the company because he claims it as a camera company rather than a social media company, The Journal has learned. He studied the early histories of Kodak and Polaroid, and how they pitched portable cameras to the public, thus, giving Spectacles its snap control of a physical camera that could bypass the smartphone cameras.
The glasses will cost $130 and will be launched this fall in three colors: teal, black and coral. Video will sync wirelessly to a paired iPhone or other smartphone.