Spectacles have been all over the news lately, but I think it is important to recap why exactly Google Glass didn't fly and why Spectacles would be so popular you wouldn't be able to buy it from the first batch.
The reason it is important is because Snap Spectacles might be the new iPhone in terms of creating a paradigm shift in the wearable devices market, exactly what Google Glass has failed to achieve. Spectacles has the potential to really be the next big thing after smartphone.
Google Glass was a truly revolutionary device, at least 10 years ahead of its time. And while it was an amazing technological achievement, being so much ahead of its time was one of the biggest reasons why it has been discontinued. People were just not ready for it, and there was no single killer use case where Google Glass would really make a difference.
And while Google's go-to-market target audience were rich nerds, Snap Inc's target audience is the users of Snapchat — 150 mln teenagers and 20-somethings who are the trend setters today, and will be for the next 5-10 years.
Here are the five things Google Glass did wrong and Snap Spectacles is doing right:
- Price: it has to be affordable in order to be a mass product, nobody is going to like a product that only few rich nerds can buy. Spectacles are more than 10 times cheaper than Google Glass was.
- Coolness: it has to be a fashionable lifestyle gadget, not look like a cyborg face implant.
- Focus: doing only one thing, but doing it extremely well, in comparison to the vague universality of the Glass.
- Prominent camera indicator: knowing whether the hands free camera pointed at you is shooting or not avoids social awkwardness.
- Marketing message: Snap Inc execs call Spectacles "just a toy" instead of portraying it as harbinger of a new technological era.
Also, let's not forget that Spectacles camera has a wide field of view and videos are collected to Snapchat memories. How cool is that!
One thing Snap is doing wrong is making it complicated to transfer videos from Spectacles to the phone. It should definitely happen automagically and I hope it's the number one item on their new features list.
Even though Spectacles is a yet another needs-to-be-charged-everyday device of which we already have too many, it has full potential to become a stepping stone to digital singularity. As soon as Snap adds a built-in AR display that is.