Tech Talk: Snapchat Spectacles

Pratiksha Joshi
Staff Writer

On Thursday, Nov. 10, Snapchat debuted its first camera-equipped sunglasses called Spectacles.
Snapchat, formerly known as Picaboo, is a mobile app that allows users to send and receive “self-destructing” photos and videos, add text and drawings and send these “snaps” to a controlled list of recipients, created by Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy and Reggie Brown.
With over 158 million daily active users and 301 million monthly active users, Snapchat has grown tremendously since its original formation in 2011.
According to data from StatisticsBrain, approximately 71 percent of its users are under the age of 25.
The new invention can record a 10-second video with just the push of a button with a 115 degree-angle camera view, which aims to mimic how the human eye sees through a circular field of view.
These “snapped” videos are sent to the memories section of the Snapchat app where people can then edit them and send to their friends or put on their stories.
According to, one pair of Spectacles cost $129.99 and comes in three colors: black, teal and coral.
The Spectacles set comes with the glasses, a charging cable, a charging case and a ghost-shaped cleaning cloth.
Until Monday, Feb. 20, these Spectacles were sold only through Snapbots in secret locations, where these vending machines sold a maximum of two Spectacles per costumer.
The first pop-up machine was in Venice Beach, California, on Nov. 10.
“In California, when they were released, what we saw at every single one of these locations was a really long line,” said David Hebert, assistant professor of economics and finance. “That says to an economist that the prices of these Spectacles were actually too low.”
“Even though they are considered to be very expensive, lots of people were willing to pay with their money and time.”
As of Thursday, Feb. 20, Spectacles can be purchased online on the Snapchat website.
“They seem awesome, I think they will be successful,” said Alexis Sizelove, a freshman undeclared major from Alexandria, Indiana, who uses Snapchat regularly.
“I would definitely buy them if I had the money.”
Spectacles do not contain the geofilters that have been so popular within the Snapchat app. In addition, they cannot be worn over prescription glasses.
“It’s a cool idea, but kinda expensive and it doesn’t look cute,” said Matthew Gonzales, a freshman accounting major from Pansey, who uses Snapchat every day.
“I wouldn’t buy them.”
Hebert believes the Spectacles will be a success.
“These are not the first glasses that had cameras on them; Google had released Google Glasses but they weren’t so successful,” said Hebert.
“Compared to Google Glasses that cost thousands of dollars, Spectacles are so much cheaper and more stylish.”
However, $130 is still considered to be expensive to many college students.
“I think it will be partially successful; quite a few people will buy them,” said Claire Vaugh, a freshman biomedical sciences major from Birmingham.
“However, I will not buy them. They are so expensive.”
Hebert said he also believes that this new invention will be an easy tool for people to record events that are going on around them and share them with a broader audience.
“One thing that’s been really cool is the rise of cellphone cameras,” Hebert. “Now we see evidence of all kinds of things happening all around the world that we would never have seen.
“We never would have known about things like police brutality if it wasn’t for the widespread adoption of cameras in everyone’s pocket.”
The Spectacles can be charged through the case or directly through the charging cable. The charger case holds a total of four charges each full-charge, taking 90 minutes. A full charge lasts a day or approximately 16 minutes of video.
In addition, the Spectacles, which can be used on both IOS and Android, are programmed with different LED lighting patterns for different modes and battery conditions.
Although data regarding the sales statistics of the Spectacles has not yet been released, there have been a tremendous amount of positive reviews.
“I use Snapchat all the time, but I still wasn’t expecting to like Spectacles as much as I did,” said Lexy Savvides, a source from “They do one thing— record video for Snapchat— but they do that one thing really well.”
“I took them to the beach, jumped on trampolines, dodged balls, climbed a pyramid play structure, watched the sunset and played tennis with them. A whole lot of fun captured from my point of view.”

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