Snapchat Changes Its Name, Debuts Recording Spectacles
Snapchat as we know it is over. No no, it has nothing to do with recent hullabaloo over Instagram copying Snapchat. Well, you agree it or not, they did do copy-paste there. That’s past now. Let’s get back to what Snapchat has just attempted and in all cases this is huge. Before we dive straight to the main changeover, let’s take a moment to mention about Memories which Snapchat offered in their last update. In a real change from their ‘here and now’ approach, with Memories they attempted to provide us save option where we can save our favorite snaps. But that wasn’t all its purpose. It also had something to do with their new offering. No, this isn’t about another wacky filter!
Snapchat Inc Is Now Snap Inc
Snapchat Inc. was the company that offered Snapchat, their only product so far. Wondering why they changed from Snapchat to Snap? It has something to do with a certain product, a hardware product. Snapchat is aiming to move past the app store with their new hardware, Spectacles. Reminds you of certain Google Glass that failed miserably, doesn’t it? Well, Glass was termed “dorky”, “disturbing to people around”, “not so useful”. Snapchat (or Snap Inc.) has learned from tech giant’s mistakes. This is evident from the price of Spectacles. One of the major complaint about Google Glass was its ‘exorbitant’ price. Glass was pitched for $1,500 per pair when it was first released in 2012. Spectacles for that matter will cost much lower at $130.
With release of Spectacles, renaming does makes sense. In a blog they wrote,
When we were just getting started it made sense to name our company Snapchat Inc., because Snapchat was our only product! Now that we are developing other products, like Spectacles, we need a name that goes beyond just one product but doesn’t lose the familiarity and fun of our team and brand. We decided to drop the “chat” and go with Snap Inc!
Okay. What Is So Special About This Spectacles?
In simple terms, Spectacles are sunglasses with an integrated video camera that makes it easy to create Memories. The company blog stated,
We’ve created one of the smallest wireless video cameras in the world, capable of taking a day’s worth of Snaps on a single charge, and we integrated it seamlessly into a fun pair of sunglasses — available in 3 different colors! Spectacles connect directly to Snapchat via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and transfer your Memories directly into the app in our brand new circular video format. Circular video plays full screen on any device, in any orientation, and captures the human perspective with a 115 degree field of view.
Those who have tried to shoot memories during holidays will know that the struggle with phone/camera is real. It’s like a wall in front of your face. Spectacles aims to resolve just that.
“It was our first vacation, and we went to Big Sur for a day or two. We were walking through the woods, stepping over logs, looking up at the beautiful trees. And when I got the footage back and watched it, I could see my own memory, through my own eyes — it was unbelievable,” Snap Inc. CEO Evan Spiegel told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience. It was the closest I’d ever come to feeling like I was there again.”
There’s a button at the corner of the sunglasses which when clicked will record up to 10 seconds of video. Google Glass was also attacked due to its probable invasion on people’s privacy. But Spectacles with just 10 second video and the fact that they are sunglasses which you can’t use indoors puts them outside of privacy concerns.
The story behind Spectacles dates back to 2014 when they bought small startup called Vergence Labs. It’s been said that CEO Spiegel and co-founder Bobby Murphy have been secretly working on this project since then with a small, top-secret team internally known as Snap Labs.
If you are regular to photography blogs and communities, you might not have missed the debate around portrait versus landscape mode. In all possibility the Snap Inc. probably has resolved that debate for now. At least on video frontier.
Snapchat was launched five years ago and is estimated to be worth $22.7 billion. The ambitious startup also turned down $3 billion buyout offer from Facebook in 2013. Snapchat has made many changes to its original app ever since its release, the most prominent being its recent filters. You can read more about that here.