After the leaked YouTube video of Snapchat Spectacles, we officially know what’s happening, and a lot is going on. First, Snapchat the company is now known as Snap Inc. So Snap Inc is the parent company of Snapchat, a lot like Google broke their businesses into Alphabet. Secondly, Snap Inc officially introduced us to Spectacles; there Google Glass-esque pair of sunglasses with a built-in camera. Then lastly, Snap Inc talked about circular video. The idea of circular video will allow rotating the phone screen from vertical to horizontal, all the while still having the video in the frame. It’s hard to explain, but better if you watch this GIF:
Spectacles uses a circular CMOS sensor to create the effect, but the 115-degree lens also lends to the circular videos. The Spectacles will post 10-second videos to your Snapchat story and memory, allow you to not only share the video but save it for yourself. The light around the camera turns on to alert your friends your recording, to help prevent privacy issues Google Glass encountered. The glasses will also charge in their case, so you won’t have to plug the glasses in via USB or some other wonky way, just store and forget.
All total, the Spectacles will be marketed as a toy to consumers, but it’ll be an invaluable resource for point of view video. Image having these glasses on while you cook, while you play with your child, or while you skateboard. Let’s you bask in the action, and still share your memories with friends and family, or just simply save it for yourself later. The $130 price makes it an impulse buy for many, and an inexpensive gift for many too.
Snapchat rebranding to Snap Inc signals they could come out with more devices, accessories, or products in the future. Snapchat first popularized vertical video, which got a bad rap of only being used in extreme cases or by amateurs but is popular because of the platform. The circular video could become the next movement among smartphone makers and other camera manufacturers.
This bold move by Snapchat/Snap Inc could pay off for them in the long run, or it could be a big flop for them. Either way, the circular video could change the way we view videos on smartphones. It’s a middle ground between 360-degree photos and videos, and the flat pictures and videos we’re accustomed to.
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