This article was published on September 26, 2016

Counterpoint: Snapchat’s ‘Spectacles’ are a joke that prove people will buy anything

Counterpoint: Snapchat’s ‘Spectacles’ are a joke that prove people will buy anything
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

Earlier today we ran a piece by the infamous — and admittedly much cooler than meJuan Buis titled: ‘Think Snapchat’s Spectacles are weird? I’m sorry, but you’re old.’ As an old guy myself (34) I felt it was my duty to weigh in… after I get these fucking kids off my lawn.

Snapchat’s ‘Spectaclesaren’t cool. I mean, unless you think Google Glass was cool, then you should definitely grab a wearable that’s 10 percent the price and feature set.  Speaking of Glass, the failed hardware project by Google was touted as ugly, but it doesn’t hold a candle to these things. Juan describes them as Ray-Ban-like, but I’d take a different path. If Snapchat doesn’t team with Fisher Price and call these things ‘My First Sunglasses,’ the marketing team has completely missed the point.

It makes sense that the team at Snapchat, sorry… Snap Inc., is marketing these to teens. It’s teens, after all, that often lack the more refined taste of an adult as well as the discretion to make decisions as one. $130 sunglasses while still relying on parents for gas money, clothes and cell phone bills? Fuck yeah!

That’s not a knock on kids, that shit takes time; I only recently figured out what I want to be when I grow up.

But, like all things we old fogies gripe about, it’s a foregone conclusion that Snap Inc. will sell tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of these. I don’t question the fact that teens and younger millennials are going to buy this gaudy excuse for a wearable; I question how often they’ll actually use it once they do.

It’s a product without staying power, a true one-trick pony. Unlike Snapchat, which is always in your pocket, you aren’t going to wear these god-awful sunglasses everywhere. At least, I hope not.

There’s also the whole ‘the public hates to be photographed/video’d without consent thing. Google Glass ran into similar issues, a problem that saw multiple establishments ban their use while inside. If Glass had been cheaper, or stuck around a bit longer, that would have been the de facto norm. Nobody wants to wonder if they’re being recorded while stuffing their face with endless salad and breadsticks at Olive Garden.

Like TNW alum Nate Swanner said:

I don’t think he’s alone. I’m certain this will lead to confrontation, and ultimately a complete ban within most public establishments, and rightfully so. Privacy is a real thing, and there are certain times we are should be entitled to it.

Bottom line is this: people will buy these things. Unfortunately taste and judgement aren’t qualities we’re born with. A year from now, however, the idea of any real mass appeal of wearing ‘Spectacles’ as something ‘cool’ will be long gone.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have dinner at 3pm and I hope to binge on some ‘Murder, She Wrote’ before bed.

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