Snapchat Spectacles - smartglass revolution or passing fad? You tell us

What are you using them for? Will the hype last?
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The Snapchat Spectacles are now 15 days into their Grand American Tour, but getting a pair is still proving challenging. After the elusive Snapbot popped up in a handful of US locations, Snap opened a fixed store in New York that will remain open until New Year's Eve. But even there, demand is incredibly high, with long-reaching queues snaking through the city. Meanwhile, more Snapbots have continued popping up around the country. The hype appears to be having its desired effect.

Now that some people have been able to give the Specs a proper try out, we wanted to find out what they like about them, what they don't, and what they've actually been using them for. So we grabbed a bunch of folks - some who have had them for a short while, some just a few days - to get their impressions.

Here's what you told us.

Karen Cheng

Snapchat Spectacles - smartglass revolution or passing fad? You tell us

Karen, how are you enjoying the Spectacles so far?

"Loving them! It's a great way to film hands-free and the circular video feature is really interesting. So far, people don't seem to notice in public when I wear them, which is good."

Do you feel self-conscious wearing them out in public?

"I actually don't wear them as sunglasses, and only put them on when I'm recording video. They don't fit very well on Asian faces - it's a nose bridge thing. Maybe in version two they'll come out with more shapes and sizes."

Have you worn any smart glasses before?

"Yes I've tried the Google Glass before. I didn't own a pair but tried someone else's. I actually found it hard to use since you had to look off into the corner of your eye to see the menu - it was an eye-straining and uncomfortable experience.

"What Spectacles did really well was remove features. You can only record ten seconds of video, not longer, not shorter. You can't take pictures. There's not even an on button. The simplicity is what makes it work, and it lets you focus on taking interesting videos."

Snapchat Spectacles - smartglass revolution or passing fad? You tell us

How long do you think it'll take before you're bored of them?

"Maybe a few weeks? I'm the kind of person who likes to try something for a while and then move on, since I enjoy the novelty of things. But I could definitely see myself using them on all vacations. I'm about to leave for a trip to Japan and I'm really excited to try them out."

Eddie Talask

Be honest, do you feel a bit weird wearing the Specs in public?

"Since I live in NYC, the spectacles really aren't the strangest thing people have seen. I have had a couple of people ask me about them and take a pic with them. They aren't really my style of frames but the function is worth it!"

Has the 'scarcity effect' worked on you?

"I think the exclusivity aspect is definitely a factor in me waiting almost two hours. I do social media for a digital agency and so it was mainly for work purposes, but I would have gotten them either way."

Do you think the hype will die?

"I think if they don't do any updates to make them do more than shoot ten second video, I would get tired of them soon. Especially as the snapchat spectacle scarcity goes down and it becomes more normal to see people posting from the Specs."

What are you looking forward to doing with them?

"I help do live coverage of an event space in Meatpacking and we host a lot of performers, so I'm excited to hopefully have them try on a pair and give us a first person perspective to their performance on our snap story. It will be really cool to experience those kind of moments."

Do you feel weird recording other people in public with them?

"Unless the indicator light was covered, everyone will know you're recording. I feel like people are always in front of a camera, be it a phone or any other bit of tech, so as long as the videos don't cause actual malice or cause harm, I am ok with it."

Andrew Weber

Snapchat Spectacles - smartglass revolution or passing fad? You tell us

What's it all about, Andrew?

"The ability to share. And the social platform Snapchat is all about the now, the today. And it's a unique vantage point, instead of having to hold your phone."

Best thing you've done so far?

"I have given friends a first-person-view look at some photo shoots I have done. That was cool."

Keilee Kristen

Snapchat Spectacles - smartglass revolution or passing fad? You tell us

Tell us, what's the best thing you've done with your Specs so far?

"The coolest thing I've done with them so far would be playing a round of golf. Swinging with the glasses on was very cool, as was just walking to the fairway, and looking back on the Snapchats I had taken was extremely cool."

Anything else?

"One of my dad's co-workers also made a comment that since he has an infant, he could capture memories of his daughter growing up from his sunglasses. He's so excited to be able to capture that."

Do you think the novelty will wear off?

"I personally don't think I will ever be bored of them because I do a Snapchat cooking show that will make videotaping what I am doing much easier."

Lana Lakke

How much are you using the Specs?

"I've worn them out in public for 3 days now and I've found that the only people who have noticed them as anything but quirky sunglasses are college age or younger. And those people are very excited to see them in person and ask about them."

And what are you using them for?

"Creating comedy on Snapchat sometimes requires the element of surprise. Yesterday, I wore Spectacles driving through KFC which allowed me to create a more 'real' story than if I would have been simply using my phone.

"Having been a professional snowboarder, I'm looking forward to wearing them in the half pipe."

Do you think you'll tire of them easily?

"It's hard to say. Spectacles definitely have their limitations - I'd like to take a picture in addition to video as well as use face lenses. I'd like to think that I will utilize them in the same way I'd utilize any major feature or tool Snapchat releases."

Nick Abouzeid

Snapchat Spectacles - smartglass revolution or passing fad? You tell us

How much are you using the Specs right now?

"They're wonderful to wear out with friends or wandering around the city, but things get tricky or weird for me when I walk inside or at night. Wearing sunglasses at night still hasn't caught on."

Do you feel weird wearing them in public, or filming strangers who might be unaware?

"I don't feel weird wearing them in public, but I try not to specifically film other people directly. I just focus on the atmosphere or cool things that are happening.

"The LED is pretty obvious and I assume once they become more popular, people will understand what they are. It's no different to filming a Snapchat video on my phone, but if there wasn't an LED I'd be hesitant to use them."

Would you have bought them if Snap hadn't made them so hard to get?

"I would have definitely still bought them, but wouldn't been as excited. Or made any money - the second pair I bought is on eBay right now with the latest bid at $510."

Coolest thing you've done so far?

"Wore them while making an espresso this morning at my family bakery. Also found an owl sitting in a tree in Harlem last night, but the footage didn't come out that great."

How long until you get bored of them?

"Once the cool factor wear off I don't think I'll continue to use them as I am right now. I wear prescription glasses normally, so having to sacrifice sight for my Spectacles isn't ideal. I'm tempted to have the lenses switched out for my normal prescription so I can wear them like I wear my normal glasses."

Farheen Malik

Done anything neat with the Specs so far?

"I have a one-month old nephew, and we put them on him. It's not often you get an infant's view of the world."

What about you? Had any strange looks?

"I don't feel self-conscious wearing them in public while walking but I am a bit self-conscious on the subway - there's more time for people to notice and respond to them in that space."

Anthony T

Snapchat Spectacles - smartglass revolution or passing fad? You tell us

Anthony, what are the Specs doing for you?

"They're great for giving a different perspective to your ordinary Snaps and the fact it's just a click away really helps with being 'in the moment'. You're not debating with yourself if it's worth taking out your phone and go through the five steps it takes to snap something.

"I don't feel weird, but I can tell people are looking because there's just enough oddity to them for people to notice - namely the yellow rings. Never mind the fact I'm wearing retro styled coral colored sunglasses."

What are the Specs best for?

"I think Spectacles really shine when you're doing experimental things with them and for me it was when I used them to go wine tasting this weekend."

Can't you just use your phone?

"I'm sure the effect could still be replicated with your phone, but just not as convenient and seamless, not to mention that you have a phone in front of you the whole time.

"As much fun as it is snapping my life through sunglasses for other people to see is, they're just as much memory keepsakes for me as well. Maybe it's the fact they're hands free, or perhaps it's the eye level perspective or a wide field of view, but I have a more visceral connection with these snaps than I do with other snaps I've kept, when looking back on them."

How we test

Hugh Langley


Now at Business Insider, Hugh originally joined Wareable from TechRadar where he’d been writing news, features, reviews and just about everything else you can think of for three years.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider.

Prior to Wareable, Hugh freelanced while studying, writing about bad indie bands and slightly better movies. He found his way into tech journalism at the beginning of the wearables boom, when everyone was talking about Google Glass and the Oculus Rift was merely a Kickstarter campaign - and has been fascinated ever since.

He’s particularly interested in VR and any fitness tech that will help him (eventually) get back into shape. Hugh has also written for T3, Wired, Total Film, Little White Lies and China Daily.

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