Snapchat Spectacles

What ever happened to Snapchat Spectacles?

Snapchat spectacles are sunglasses that are meant to take photos from your perspective. The user puts them on, and presses the side of the glasses to being a 10 second recording. A light turns on to signify that the glasses are recording, and to signal to everyone around you. The first time glasses that could record hit the market was with Google Glasses, and man was it a mess. There was an immediate stigma and anyone seen wearing them was seen as a 'Glasshole'. So along came Snapchat, a company that exubarates youth and hipness, eager to take a turn. Investors thought Snapchat could definitely make it, but why did the $130 glasses flop?

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How do you use them?

Snapchat spectacles come in a yellow charging case with a braided charging cord.

1. You sync your glasses with the Snapchat application. Once you have opened the package and put on your glasses, you open the Snapchat application. The glasses will sync with the application through bluetooth.

2. When you are ready to record, you press the top of the glasses to begin a 10 second clip. You can press the button up to three times, to record a maximum length of a 30 second clip.

3. The recordings get sent to your phone VIA bluetooth. When you open the Snapchat application, you can choose which videos to download onto your phone. Select your video and then you can choose to either post it to you story or export it.

What it's great for

+ Take some really cool POV videos from traveling. Allows you to rewatch those videos and get to rexperience moments.

+ Get a 115 degree FOV which allows you to watch the videos on your phone in both portrait and landscape mode.

+ Good for family events. Keep your hands free as you talk with others or help cook.

+ Great for short stationary videos. If you aren't moving, you can get good short videos of others around you.

+ Convenient if you are a huge fan of Snapchat. The ease of transferring videos from the glasses to your application and straight to your story is always a plus.

+ Not worry about constantly having to pull out your camera or keep it on you at all times.

Design flaws

They're sunglasses

Sunglasses are niche in that they can't be worn inside, in cold weather, or when it's dark outside. So immediately you're limited to being outside when it's well lit.


A pair of glasses cost $130! Why spend $130 when you have a perfectly good camera in your pocket.

You could only buy it from random locations

Originally, Snapchat attempted to be innovative by having Snapbooths appear in random locations for one day so if you want one, go out and find it! Luckily, now US buyers can buy it online as well.

Little to no customization.

The glasses come in 3 colors, knock-off black Ray Bans, and a neon-almost-hurts-your-eye red and teal. Oh did I also mention it only comes in one size?

Not waterproof or scratchproof.

Glasses that encourage you to go out on adventures are not so adventure proof.

Technical flaws

Transferring videos is a pain

It's hard to transfer videos to anything but snapchat. Once you figure out how to export videos you'll also notice the low resolution and odd fisheye view.

Very jerky fisheye video

As people tend to move their heads in all sorts of manners, depending on how physical their activity is, a lot of video that contains movement comes out as jerky. All videos are filled almost in fish eye view which distorts the video.

Blurry night recordings

Even though theses are sunglasses and you really shouldn't even wear them out at night, when you do beware that videos are dark and blurry and incredibly low in quality.

No stills or zooming

If you wanted to manipulate your video in any way, best of luck!

Social flaws

The same stigma that has always existed with similar products exists with Snapchat Spectales.

You come across as pretentious and dorky.

A huge issue has always been that glasses like Snapchat Spectales invite others to cast judgements. Take for example, Google Glasses. Initially the product began in inner technologically savvy circles and others began associating it with a certain type of person, you know the one, someone who is socially awkward and can only hold conversation if it's about arguing about the latest technological advancements. To gain mass attention and appeal, a product needs to start in what is considered 'cooler' and more hip parts of culture. Snapchat Spectacles could have tried to appeal to celebrities initially, as with anything fashion you cannot start at a niche market and expect to become popular. If you start with niche markets like 'geeks', it will be much harder to branch out. It is imperative to start with a market where society already looks to in terms of fads.


In general, glasses that allow you to capture what's occuring around you hands-free is a fantastic idea. The problem with snapchat glasses is that it only records short snips of awkward jerky video. Furthermore, they're limited to sunglasses that are obvious and clunky, not even close to flattering. If these glasses brought more AR features it would definitely boost its value! For instance, being able to look at filters in realtime. For now, Snapchat Spectales are mearly meant for short videos that you can easily get better quality with if you used your phone.

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