As you probably know by now, a couple weeks ago Snapchat unveiled its version of the previously doomed Google Glass: Snap Spectacles.
At $130 a pop, they’re much more affordable than Glass was, but equally as tough to get your hands on–only available in pop-up vending machines that Snap alerts you to on Snapchat (brilliant marketing move).
Obviously, it remains to be seen how the public and Snapchat users will react to this new product, but early returns seem fairly positive (The Verge was raving last week). The glasses are more visually attractive than the Minority-Report-esque Glass, and have a built-in user base in 100 million+ Snapchat daily users.
So, it should come as no surprise that a handful of early adopter brands have already started experimenting with Spectacles–including Minnesota’s own space150 and the Minnesota Wild.
Sports franchises seems like a logical fit for Spectacles. From a social/digital perspective, one of a sports team’s goals is typically to bring fans closer to the team and improve the “fan experience.” With Spectacles’ “first person” view, they seems ideally suited to do just that.
And the Wild showed us a glimpse of what that will look like in the months ahead.
Behind-the-scenes footage. Glimpses into rare viewpoints during the game (Nordy shooting the t-shirt cannon). Again–Spectacles is IDEALLY suited for sports teams, so this was kind of a slam dunk before it even began. And my guess is you’ll see other sports franchises experimenting with Spectacles as they become a little easier to obtain.
Another early adopter? Sour Patch Kids, which typically is on the more early side of experimenting with new social and digital technologies.
Sour Patch Kids’ first attempt with Spectacles wasn’t quite as interesting as the Wild’s, as they used the glasses to show fans how to make what I can only guess are called “Sour Patch Cookies” (um, gross).
Now, admittedly, this was Sour Patch Kids first attempt with the new glasses. And I think you’ll see them get a lot smarter in how they use the new tool. This first stab was most likely a complete experiment–not sure cooking with Spectalces is “can’t miss” video on Snapchat. But, I think that’s also an important lesson for brands as they start to think about how they use these new glasses–only use when a first-person viewpoint would create a unique experience. For the Wild, that was definitely the case. For Sour Patch Kids, baking cookies in first-person isn’t exactly what the experts would call “engaging content.”
Finally, the other mainstream brand I’ve noticed playing with Spectacles so far has been General Electric. Probably no surprise, given GE’s propensity to experiment with and push the envelope with new digital technologies in the past.
GE’s first stab? A look inside their Fort Worth facility and locomotives.
— General Electric (@generalelectric) November 14, 2016
Again, much like the Wild, GE is giving fans an “insider’s look” at its technology and facility–something they really can’t get anywhere else, and from a unique perspective.
Obviously, we are VERY early in terms of brand adoption of Spectacles. Heck, half the battle right now is actually getting your hands on these things.
But, once brands do obtain a pair of Spectacles, I think you’ll see a lot more experimentation. Most of it is definitely going to be lousy (and probably unwatchable), but after that big first wave wears off, I do think there’s something here for brands.
Because Spectacles are tapping into two big trends: 1) Social video, and 2) FIRST-PERSON social video.
And, keep in mind, Snapchat is still a growing platform. Definitely not at the scale of Facebook (or even Instagram) yet. But, with a built-in user base, huge interest (thanks to a brilliant product roll-out strategy) and a reasonable price point, I tend to think Spectacles may actually catch on and be a viable tool for brands to reach certain segments of their audience (trending younger, obviously).