This weekend, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, 26, laughed and yelled “Boom!” as he unveiled his company’s new video-recording sunglasses dubbed “Spectacles.” Appearing like some basic Wayfarers, Spectacles will record up to 10 seconds of video from your vantage point at the tap of a button. Aaaaand, that’s pretty much it. But that’s exactly why they will be the gadget to have this fall.
You may recall when Google attempted to fit the world with recording glasses. You may also recall that didn’t go so well. They were expensive, they looked dorky, and they were hard to find. They also weren’t terribly comfortable, and you’d be harangued if you were caught wearing them around town without any irony.
But Snap’s (they changed their company name from Snapchat to just “Snap, Inc.”) new Spectacles just might work.
First, they don’t look too bad. The sunglasses will come in black, teal or coral and will only cost $129—about the same as a decent pair of sunglasses. Early pictures show that they look like mid-range sunglasses with a couple cameras in the frames. That’s it. We’d actually wear them and we wouldn’t be caught dead wearing Google Glasses or any other number of creepy-looking cameras hidden in glasses.
So what does that mean? The barrier to experiment is low, and people will go for it this time around.
“Sure, I’ll give them a try,” you’ll probably think to yourself. “I spend $130 on sunglasses anyway.”
The best part is that they’re simple: One button, one function. No attempts to send you information or do goofy gestures in public. Ironically, they’re a lot more simple than Snapchat, the wildly popular app that’s clearly funding the company’s foray into gadgets.
Perhaps most importantly, they’re functional sunglasses at sunglass pricing rather than some nerdy piece of garb you’ll only wear during dark experimentation time at home that we’d all rather not discuss.
You’ll likely be asking for them for Christmas, as they will be available this fall in limited numbers.