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New Snapchat gadget bound for junk drawer

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If GoPro and Google Glass had a cheap baby, it would be Snap Inc.’s new Spectacles.

Recently released by Snap Inc., the Spectacles are sunglasses that record up to thirty seconds of footage to be saved into the memory of your Snapchat account. This product unleashes a brand new way to snapchat. It is a more expensive and more accessible social media feature.

When Snapchat first began, it revolutionized social media. Suddenly, you could share an image or video just as easily as sending a text. It was such a successful concept that other social media platforms picked up on some of its features. For example, Instagram incorporated stories into the application through temporary posts.

The app works because it’s a convenient way to share moments of your everyday life. Unlike Facebook, you don’t just post to show your family that you’re still alive. Your audience on Snapchat are your friends and you can share your life without it being documented on the internet forever.

Getting ready for a party? Post it. Want to see how you’ll look as a drag queen? Apply the filter and send it out. At a Beyoncé concert? Put it on your story and all of your friends will be jealous.

With Snapchat, the purpose isn’t to post artsy or high quality pictures like Instagram. These images aren’t meant to be permanent. Snapchat’s temporary nature makes it a casual process. It’s a relaxed way to use social media.

The Spectacles completely defeat the purpose of Snapchat. Snapchat is convenient, whereas these glasses are not. They are just another piece of tech equipment that no one will want to carry around.

You don’t need a separate camera or any extra equipment to take an image at a concert or take a video when you’re with your friends. You just grab your smartphone – which is likely already in your pocket – and you’re good to go. Snapchat is successful because it’s convenient and casual.

There’s a reason smartphones have cameras built in – it’s convenient. You can take a picture on the fly, no matter where you are. In this age, the only reason to carry an extra piece of picture-taking equipment if you are a professional photographer or a professional hipster.

People who truly want a way to record incredible moments without using their hands have already bought the GoPro. People who really want to wear new technology on their face have already bought Google Glass. These Spectacles are just another computer for your face, except this time they cost less because they do less.

What true advantage do these glasses provide besides serving as a status symbol? All they do is scream “I shelled out $130 for a pair of glasses that I won’t wear more than ten times!” The practicality of this product is minimal and it serves no purpose that isn’t already being fulfilled by what is already in your pocket.

The intended audience of the Spectacles is teenagers. It has a youthful design and colorful options. This product won’t be an overwhelming success because it will just be a trend among youth. For the first few months, the Spectacles will be bought by or for teenagers. After a while, the novelty of the product will wear off. Teens will get bored and start to look at what’s next. The Spectacles will become a forgotten toy in the back of a drawer. There is no long-term potential with this product.

Snap Inc.’s Spectacles are another product in a long line of wearable technology. But they don’t do anything particularly spectacular – they just exist as another piece of junk to waste your money on.

Maggie Meyer ’20 (meyer11@stolaf.edu) is from Evanston, Ill. Her major is undecided.