Snapchat, now known as simply Snap, has introduced an intriguing new device: a pair of sunglasses with a camera built in.
The Spectacles will take video – limited to 10 second bursts and 30 seconds total – which may then be uploaded and shared online.
You film by simply tapping the corner of your frame.
This brings to mind the late and not much lamented Google Glass technology which went down in flames over privacy concerns.
Essentially it was seen as a surveillance device and was banned from many public places.
Will Spectacles be different?
There are some key departures. First, as we noted, the videos are quite short, which may minimize the resistance.
Secondly, they are aimed at a younger audience, and at $130, priced accordingly.
And third, the device announces itself: when it is filming, lights blink to let the subject know that filming is taking place.
It’s too early to say if thi will this be enough for Spectacles to be accepted.
You can reasonably expect privacy advocates to be concerned and it’s still a fair point: the line between public and private has blurred for decades.
Despite the lights, there are situations where people will not know they are being filmed or might not be able to object.
Still, when something catches on it can’t always be stopped. Spectacles are a relatively inexpensive POV device on a platform, Snap, that young people like. So don’t be surprised if you see some soon.