Answers To Your Questions About Snapchat Spectacles

A quick Google News search for “Snap Specs” will tell you all you need to know: Snapchat Spectacles have arrived. If you have no idea what Snapchat Spectacles are or, more tellingly, you have no idea what Snapchat is, you are probably either:

  • Over the age of 35, or
  • Living in relative isolation (in which case, how did you find this article?)

If either one of those presumptuous labels fits you, no worries. This post is as much (if not more) for you than for those already in the know about Snapchat who are curious about the social site’s mysterious new product.

6 Common Questions About Snap Spectacles (& the Answers)

While the buzz has already begun building around Spectacles, they remain largely an enigma. Ask most people—even Snapchat users—if they know what Spectacles are or how they work and they’ll give you a blank stare.

That’s why we’re here today, to tackle the tough questions. And that’s why you’re here, to get some definitive answers. So let’s get into it…

1. What is Snapchat?

There’s no shame in this question. Since its humble beginnings in 2011, Snapchat has thrived on mystery. You won’t find a traditional “About” page on the Snapchat website.

At its core, Snapchat is a social app—like Facebook or Twitter—where users can connect and share content with each other. But here’s the novel premise that Snapchat made its name on: Shared images and videos vanish in seconds. So you can’t view a timeline of everything someone posted like on Facebook or Twitter.

That’s the core idea at the heart of Snapchat. But the app has evolved since the beginning, now offering Snapchat Stories—which last for 24 hours. Snapchat has also gained a lot of popularity because of its insanely fun and weird photo filters, some of which are only available for a limited time.

According to this New York Times article, Snapchat currently has about 150 million daily users. Perhaps more significantly, the company behind the app (Snap, Inc.) may be valued at as much as $30 billion.

2. What are Snap Spectacles?

The Snapchat app is all about sharing photos and videos with friends. So Snapchat created a pair of glasses that could do just that: Take videos/photos and send them wirelessly to Snapchat. That’s it really.

Unlike Google Glass, which wants to be a full computer on your face, Snap Spectacles are designed to do just one thing and one thing only. Take Snaps.

Snapchat Spectacles

3. How do they work?

Again, it’s pretty simple:

1. You put on the Snap Spectacles like you would a normal pair of glasses or sunglasses. The camera (which has a 115-degree field of view) sees things from your perspective.

2. You push the button on the left side of the glasses and the camera shoots a 10-second video of whatever it is you’re seeing.

3. A circle of lights brighten on the Spectacles to let people around you know you’re shooting a Snap (a nice signal for some to run away).

4. Your Snap then transfers automatically to your Memories folder on the Snapchat app, where you can edit it or add filters as you would with any other photo or video.

Users of Spectacles says it takes a few minutes to adjust to the idea the camera sees what you see—as opposed to using a traditional or smartphone camera where you frame and zoom before shooting. But they also say Specs are pretty easy to use and the learning curve is quick.

See the overarching theme here? Simplicity. Along those same lines, to charge the glasses you simply place them back in their case.

Snap Spectacles in Charging Case

4. Where can I get a pair of Spectacles?

OK, this is where it gets a little complicated. You can’t just walk into a Target or go on Amazon and order a pair of Snap Spectacles.

Why? Mostly because of marketing and hype. By making the Spectacles hard to get, Snap is fueling interest, articles (like the one you’re reading right now), and customer desire. As the NES Classic taught us recently: the more you can’t have it, the more you want it.

But, of course, there are ways. There is a pop-up store in New York City where you can get Spectacles that will be open until New Year’s Eve. Reportedly, there is always a line to get in.

The other Snap-approved way to get Spectacles is via the Snapbot, a vending machine that is currently traveling around the country. The thing is you never really know too far in advance where the vending machine will be. A page on the Spectacles website has a countdown clock to when they will announce the Bot’s next location. If you see a location near you, get there fast. Rumor has it, they sell out quick.

And, of course, there’s always the scalper market. You can go on eBay and find a pair for around $300.

Snap Bot

5. How much do they cost?

If you’re getting them directly from Snap (and not via eBay or some other scalper), they’ll set you back $129.99.

6. Will I look cool wearing them?

Hard to say. The models on the Spectacles website look pretty good with them on. But for reasons only Snap can explain, all the models sporting the Spectacles also appear to be naked.

What if you’re not a naked model? Well, the Spectacles are round and plastic and have a visible camera on them. So you probably won’t look great. Though people who know what they are might think you’re cool for wearing them. There’s also the off-chance you’ll look so uncool, you flip back around to looking cool.

But cool’s not really the point here. What you do with the spectacles is the point. Like regular glasses or sunglasses, it’s not really about the look as much as the function. If you’re into the function, you’ll probably think they’re cool. And therefore you’ll probably think you look cool.

So probably yes. Maybe. Who knows.

AUTHOR: Shad Connelly
ORIGIN: Communications Director @ MONSTERS Unlimited

If you'd like to follow Shad on Twitter  /  @shadconnelly