Snapchat Spectacles V2 Show Promise for the Future
Where to get them: Spectacles.com
How much?: $149.99
- Smaller charging case
- Better looking than V1
- Easy pairing and transferring via internal wifi
- Ability to take photos
- Circular photo and video format are not exportable (they’re working on it)
- $20 more than the original version
Are they worth it?:
If you love and use Snapchat a solid amount and want a new way to create awesome content, then YES! Otherwise, it’s worth it to wait for a later version that includes better exportability
Things to Improve On
Snapchat recently rolled out version 2 of their Spectacles and they NEED them to do better than the originals. If you never heard of the first version, you’re not the only one. Snap lost nearly $40 million and only sold about 150,000 pairs (0.08% of users) meaning that they have hundreds of thousands of pairs just wasting away in a warehouse somewhere in China. Even for the ones that they did sell, it was reported that half of users stopped using them after about a month.
So why didn’t the first version do well? The reason v1 did so poorly is that Snap completely dropped the ball on the release and distribution. The hype was there when the concept was first released to the public but they never capitalized on it. Instead of allowing people to buy online right away, they tried to work through exclusivity with Snapbots, vending machines that they just randomly dropped off and seemingly hoped that everyone would run to. Also, in a time when we have so many famous YouTubers, Instagramers, and Snapchatters, they gave out zero pairs to these social superstars. Therefore nobody was able to showcase the awesomeness. This time around they’ve fixed that and say that they will be giving them to influencers to showcase the crap out of them.
What’s New for Version 2?
Given the horrible failure that was the first version, V2 had to be different and they’ve definitely taken steps in the right direction. To start, the look is much improved. The first attempt brought us some ugly pastel colors and a yellow ring around the camera which basically said: “hey look, I’m recording you!” The new pair is way more subtle. They’ve gotten rid of the yellow ring and instead of bright colors like coral and teal, V2 has more neutral and better-looking ruby and sapphire. Each color also has two options for lenses and they’ve even given people the option to order custom prescription lenses.
To go with the better look, the performance has also improved. Given the fact that many refer to spectacles as “camera glasses,” it was interesting to find out that the first version wasn’t capable of taking photos. However, Snap made sure to fix that with V2 and they’ve also released an update to give V1 the same ability.
The best part of the new Spectacles is that they’re easier to purchase than the last ones! Rather than waiting for a Snapbot to show up in your area, this time they got it right and released them on Spectacles.com right away. The price has increased to $150, up from $130, but if they’re going to give everyone a way to get them this time then it might be worth it.
The New Spectacles are Waterproof!
It’s always cool when you see an underwater video of friends at the pool or the beach but usually, that takes a special case for their phone or GoPro. Now Spectacles give the perfect way to show your friends what they’re missing in first-person and it’s all handsfree. That means backflips and boogie boarding with the click of a button and two hands still in use. Of course, there are limits to how waterproof they are so spectacles.com recommends keeping it to shallow water and not submerging them for too long.
During our time with Spectacles V2 so far we’ve been able to capture some great footage and seen some great reactions from the people we’ve shown them to. They still look a little unnatural as sunglasses but that’s part of the fun of them. They represent the circular video/photo form and they still attract attention while still being somewhat low key (compared to V1).
When we got ours, we wanted to do as much as we could to try and show the possibilities of what they could do.
The first idea was to give them to the bartender at lunch! Nothing too crazy but it gave a cool perspective that we don’t usually get to see.
Next was to give them to some local skaters to see how they put them to use and if they liked them.
Obviously, we had to test out the waterproof feature too. Between dropping them in a fountain at Ponce City Market and kayaking, we can conclude that they are indeed waterproof!
What does the future hold?
Snapchat didn’t do so hot with their first attempt at entering the world of wearable technology but they aren’t giving up! Spectacles V2 are a solid improvement and their ability to learn from past mistakes makes us wonder what the possibilities are for the future. They’ve had tons of success with augmented reality in the app so it wouldn’t be unreasonable to think that they could try something that combines glasses and AR. It also wouldn’t be surprising if they wound up heading in the direction of a Google glass once they’ve perfected their first vision. Overall if they continue to improve and people latch on, Snapchat could be on their way to a very successful combination of wearables and social media.