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Snapchat Eyes Wearable Tech Market with Spectacles

The newly christened Snap Inc., the company that offers the Snapchat image messaging app, will make its first foray into the hardware market this fall with Spectacles.

Spectacles is a pair of glasses capable of recording 10-second video clips which can then be uploaded to Snapchat via an iPhone or Android connection. There is a small camera in the upper corner of each lens that offers a 115-degree field of view. Also, a light will go on to let people know when Spectacles is recording. A protective case will act as a charger.

Positioned more as a want vs. a need, Spectacles is designed to appeal to the instant-gratification, photo-happy Millennial market. For better or worse, the product wasn’t designed with selfies in mind.

While Spectacles will come in a variety of eye-catching colors, the aesthetic appears more natural than the space-age looking Google Glass, which failed to take off. Another difference between the two products: Spectacles will retail for $130, while Google Glass was 10 times as costly.

Because Snapchat has approximately 150 million daily users, Spectacles will have a built-in distribution system for its videos.

Also similar to Google Glass are the privacy concerns of people being filmed.

Snap Inc. is cautiously optimistic that it could sell as many as 3 million units in the first year. Currently, Snapchat’s revenue is derived from advertising, of which it earned $59 million in 2015. It projects revenue will top $350 million in 2016 and approach $1 billion in 2017. The company is currently valued at more than $17 billion.

There are reports that Snap Inc. is planning an IPO for early 2017 that could push the company’s value to $25 billion.

Ryan Berman is a Senior Audit Manager providing domestic and international accounting, auditing and business consulting services to public and private clients in a variety of industries.

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