Real life is pretty terrible — at least that’s how Snapchat’s Spectacles product team feels.
If you recall, in 2016 Snap’s Spectacles 1
ran the best marketing campaign in history flamed out pretty quickly a few years ago after doing a limited release launch via strategically placed vending machines. The first version, which actually looked like sunglasses, copied the exclusivity pre-order model with much fanfare by selling them through strategically placed vending machines, only to have it flame out mightily. It was early, people learn, and they’re now on version 5 of the glasses (pictured above) which look more like something from Breakin’ 2 Electric Boogaloo.
Version 5, unveiled at the Snap Partner Summit, of the Spectacles AR glasses will feature four microphones, two cameras, and a touchpad. They also state that the AR glasses will have a battery life of roughly 30 minutes. You can activate them by saying “Hey Snapchat”, leading us to believe they will only be useful for minutes at a time before the battery dies. Pricing has not been released on version 5.
AR has had success in b2b, education and in the workplace. And apps like Pokemón Go have driven adoption but consumer demand for wearables hasn’t quite been as projected (see below).
Snap’s current plan is to up their influencer marketing budget, among other things, which in a normal economy and time might make sense. Given their target audience and price point? Sounds like another test and learn scenario.
As mentioned, adoption for headsets hasn’t been as speculated, and as you can see from this 2018 projection below there’s still a lot of Underpants Gnome math going on, especially when you consider Pokemón go makes up a large percentage of AR usage.
Either way, profitable companies including Snap and Facebook continue to push for a headset wearing world many haven not chosen to buy in on – but we’ll keep watching until they do.
Tags: AR, Augmented Reality, snap, snapchat, Virtual Reality, VR