I recently got a pair of Snapchat Spectacles and in many ways, they’re great.
First of all, they’re good looking sunglasses. And yes, they actually shield your eyes from the sun.
The glasses, which have a small camera built into the frame, make it so easy to capture the world in 10-second videos. I loved that while wearing the glasses I didn’t have to dig for my phone in my pocket or purse whenever I wanted to snap something.
It’s amazing to be able to snap videos hands-free. I was able to play fetch with a dog while sipping rosé, thanks to the Spectacles. Now that is a feat.
Their design is also so practical. The glasses charge in their own case, and they are easy to set up and use. It took me less than 5 minutes to start using my Spectacles after unwrapping them for the first time.
Here I am, on the far left, wearing my new pair of Spectacles on a bright, sunny spring day:
After wearing the Spectacles for an entire weekend — one that was jam-packed with outdoor activities — I have two major gripes with the glasses that I think Snap needs to fix in order for these things to gain broader appeal.
1. Spectacles need to be able to take photos.
A camera that doesn’t take still photos? Blasphemous. Especially for Snap, which purports to be a camera company.
I know that Snapchat is a video-centric social media platform. But the fact is, plenty of people share photos on the app. I was seriously disappointed when I realized that my new Spectacles couldn’t take photos. I think I would have taken far more Snaps had I been able to do so.
This is such a basic problem that it could probably be fixed in a software update down the road.
2. Snap needs to make it easier to share videos on other social platforms.
We’re living in a platform-agnostic world, are we not?
Unfortunately, Snap makes it very difficult to share the videos you take with Spectacles on other social media platforms. It’s doable, but it requires a bunch of extra steps that might not be practical if you’re outside being active like I was this weekend.
Personally, I have way more friends and followers on Instagram, so I prefer to post stuff there. And I’m not alone.
Instagram’s Stories feature, which essentially does the same thing as Snapchat, is on track to outpace Snapchat in terms of daily users.
But until Facebook — Instagram’s parent company — comes out with photo-taking glasses, which they could very well do soon, there’s nothing else out there like Spectacles. So I’m stuck taking videos in Snapchat and then clumsily porting them over to Instagram, or whatever platform I want to share them on. It’s not the best user experience.