Snap boosted a new update today of its fabled Snap Spectacles. They are new, but only kind of, and it is not clear that they have learned much since the glasses initially debuted in fall of the year 2016.
The modifications they did make with V2 (higher-def video, water-proofing, slightly updated design) fundamentally have been tweaks towards perfecting a vision that the consumers do not seem to be identifying already with, all in one package that costs more.
Snap actually was a much cooler firm when Spectacles initially released a year-and-a-half ago, the Instagram Stories had released only weeks earlier, Snapchat had not embraced a tumultuous redesign and the then-private company generally just had more positive hype around it. Fast forward to the year 2018 and the updated “toy” glasses of the company have a bit more riding on them, not important for the potential hardware revenues, but as they require helping the company steal back its cool factor lunch, which Instagram has been eating.
Higher-def video and water-proofing are the evolutions meant to appease the existing users who have pushed up against the limitations, but this update likely is still much minor to get those people to upgrade, so now the question is as to what is Snap really getting here aside from a shot at getting those already on the fence.
Having the cost the same would have been astonishing enough, but hiking the cost from 129 dollars to 149 dollars is just arrogant. Pricing a thing like this in reference to the high-end eyewear market could be understood but they fundamentally are a gadget, albeit one sitting alone in a product class no one asked for. Spectacles really did not require right now all these minor updates, with this product idea unchanged they required to drop the cost to 70 dollars-100 dollars and just aim at tightening up the experience on the software side.
The utility of these glasses definitely is suspect, but they unquestionably are authentic in purpose and extend an early future for high-technology eyewear, which so many technology monsters are betting on already. While Magic Leap of the present and Google Glass of the past have promised the world, Spectacles were supposed to approach the consumers in a place where they were already in a way that would get them comfortable with wearing a computer on their eyes. This still is the vision, but Spectacles have not cracked what this means really yet.
If Spectacles are destined only to be a face-mounted action cam, they probably must look to GoPro and rethink their existence. If they possess the potential to be something more than a dead-end, they must keep the brand alive in a lower-priced existence while forgetting regarding incremental upgrades and targeting at a more exciting future for smart glasses.
The biggest success of Snap with V1 of the Spectacles was their marketing push around them, in the meantime, it cannot be confidently said they could drum up much love with this minor update. It might have been wiser for them to aim at hitting a lower price point with a more streamlined feature set. The V2 Spectacles of Snap double-down on the original vision of the company without acknowledging that there perhaps was a fundamental reason they did not sell as well as they had expected in the initial place.