HN Gopher Feed (2017-10-28) - page 1 of 10
Why Snapchat Spectacles failed
43 points by alfozanhttps://techcrunch.com/2017/10/28/why-snapchat-spectacles-failed/-failed/
adamnemecek - 1 hours ago
TLDR hw is hard, ?fashion? hw is double hard
lowmagnet - 1 hours ago
Also, they didn't learn anything from the 'glasshole' phenomenon.
The attention span of fishes.
adamnemecek - 1 hours ago
I?m guessing they took it into consideration but thought hey
could do better.
Fricken - 1 hours ago
Glass was released in 2012. For the teenagers that Spectacles
was being targeted at, 2012 is ancient history.
hn_throwaway_99 - 57 minutes ago
Spectacles may have failed, but on the contrary, I think they
made a whole different set of mistakes than Glass:1. They
specifically focused on the fashion-conscious aspect initially
(e.g. the Karl Lagerfeld shoot), and purposefully tried to keep
the specs away from the nerdy tech press. In the early stages
this was actual really successful, and at the very least they
got "fashion buzz" when Spectacles came out. 2. They
highlighted that Spectacles have a big light go on when
recording, which helped blunt some of the "creepiness factor".
In fact, I think they did a largely good job of positioning
Spectacles as "fun way to take video with friends" as opposed
to Glass's "cyborg assistant" approach.
baby - 35 minutes ago
It's interesting how on the other side Apple has succeeded with
the Apple watch even though you need to recharge it every day. My
guess is that it was highly priced and so seen as a "rich people"
jewelry. Hence the market being driven by people who want to look
rich.I'm sure that if snapchat spectacles had been priced lower,
every middle schooler would have gotten them. Driving the
market/trend by mass adoption.
pgm8705 - 6 minutes ago
In terms of watch prices it is far from highly priced. I don't
know anyone that would considering it "rich people" jewelry.
I've had my Apple Watch for several weeks now and its
usefulness has made it worth every penny. I especially love
having cellular service and not having to take my phone with me
everywhere I go.
rifung - 19 minutes ago
But isn't the Apple watch useful? I definitely see the appeal
of being able to see notifications without having to take out
my phone.I don't think it's worth the cost for me, but for
those who just enjoy using technology and playing with the
newest thing, I can see why you'd want one. Plus, I'm sure they
make nice gifts.I don't really buy that they're seen as rich
people jewelry. It's less than an iPhone and priced like a
budget or fashion brand watch.Of course, this could be my bias
showing! To me, the Apple Watch is cheap enough that you'd
consider getting one as a gift for someone special, so not
show-off expensive but just expensive enough. Indeed I've seen
them given as such.
chiefalchemist - 8 minutes ago
True. But Apple is the proverbial outlier. They are also a
perfect example of:Making it look easy...is very very hard.It's
to easy to be seduced by (it looks) easy. But Snap won't be the
last, will they :)
minimaxir - 1 hours ago
A few months ago on Hacker News I asked about the low usage of the
Spectacles and the response was generally that people who bought it
liked it: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14562560Spectacles
are a case where appealing to a niche may not be the most
profitable endeavor. (and now that Snap is a public company, they
have to actually care about profit at some point)
Fricken - 1 hours ago
I was really curious about spectacles, and bought a pair as soon as
I could. I lost them about 3 weeks later, and that was that.In some
ways they were really cool, but the article was bang-on about
pretty much everything. It's really a case study about how to fuck
up a product roll-out.Portability complications were a huge downer.
The shaded lenses made them difficult to use indoors, and what
wasn't mentioned was that the mic was hypersensitive to distortion
from the slightest breeze, which made them useless outside as
well.But, as the article states:>To drive demand, Snap needed to
demonstrate all the creative things you could do with Spectacles,
and the cool people who wore them.Why the fuck didn't they do this?
DanBC - 41 minutes ago
> and what wasn't mentioned was that the mic was hypersensitive
to distortion from the slightest breeze,And you can't really
stick a micromuff on your glasses.http://www.micromuff.com/
rch - 1 hours ago
This was obviously a marketing-led disaster from day one. It's hard
to accept company leadership that can be be persuaded to do go down
a path like this so easily.
koiz - 1 hours ago
Because they were pointless.The first time I saw them I thought to
myself, well that's a cool idea but that was it.It truly felt like
marketing or some attempt to trick people into believing Snap could
make cool things... like a response to Facebook/Oculus.
baby - 38 minutes ago
If I can use them to shoot videos and make something cool like
the japan tour thing I would buy them.:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t3i5asc3qI4EDIT: actually looking
at the snapchat spectacle webpage, it looks neat and I can see
myself buying them. Just not at that price (130GBP) because I
will probably not be using them a lot. But if there is a
promotion around Christmas why not.
avip - 1 hours ago
Notably missing from the list - nobody wants this product.
Overtonwindow - 1 hours ago
Just curious, am I the only one who really, really wants the AR
glasses from Daemon by Daniel Suarez? I would very much like a pair
of glasses that records information, helps me to recognize faces,
and bring information further into my reality.
dbish - 7 minutes ago
Daemon is a great series with interesting tech ideas. That's
exactly what i hoped we could be moving towards when i got google
glass. Still waiting for something capable.
joering2 - 28 minutes ago
For a moment you got me excited thinking that such a thing
actually exists, givens today's technology wouldn't be actually
rocket science, until I realized its a book
icebraining - 12 minutes ago
If they could tell you when did you see this person in the past
and recognize from your contacts, and if it didn't "sync to
cloud" or that crap, I'd buy three just for
gifting.Unfortunately, it's just not realistic right now, I
think. The Spectacles battery life lasts less than 30 minutes of
recording, and they don't even have a screen.
thinkloop - 1 hours ago
> Google?s core mistake was allowing geeky developers to become the
face of Glass.That's us! We're the mistake :-D
SapphireSun - 44 minutes ago
I regret the day I was born. :'(
thinkloop - 1 hours ago
I wonder if the ultimate answer is for them to be completely
imperceptible and indifferentiatable from regular glasses - the
glasshole thing is big.
yvsong - 1 hours ago
iGlass will probably be created by Apple or a hardware startup led
by some people like Steve Jobs and Woz. No software company has
made a hugely successful hardware product.
cbowal - 30 minutes ago
Theodores - 45 minutes ago
They took a gamble and it did not work out for them, their product
was not the next 'spinner' grade craze. But if you don't try you
don't get.It is only a matter of time before cameras in sunglasses
becomes a common thing with people using them in place of action
cameras, dashcams and regular cameras. The UX needs to be 'wink' to
take a picture so these things can operate hands free with voice
control - 'cheese' etc.Somehow these wonder sunglasses of the near
future weigh no more than normal sunglasses, charge magically in
their special case and stream 4K HDR+ 3D stereo over bluetooth 24/7
storing all content on a nano-SD card. But we are not there yet and
Snap took a punt at pitching a fun variant of the ideal product
with low-res functionality seeing if people would go for it. They
didn't. People didn't go crazy for them like they did with
'spinners', an equally 'useless' product. But cameras in sunglasses
are happening. People have got over lenses in public. There is one
in every car bumper.
vm - 43 minutes ago
I was a Snap power user. Got spectacles very early. Hated the
upload UX.Bluetooth issues galore. Completely stopped using them.
As standalone sunglasses, they are inferior to a good $10 pair from
amazon - heavier, worse lens quality, and limited viewable area.
untog - 42 minutes ago
I was talking to a parent friend of mine a while back, and we both
agreed (he owns a pair) that Snapchat Spectacles could be an
amazing accessory for parents.Kids are easily distracted, so if you
point a phone at them it'll completely throw them off whatever cute
activity it was they were just doing - probably because they now
want to play with your phone. No such problem with Spectacles - and
not only that, it means you can keep two hands free (not a small
issue when one arm might already have a child in it).The problem is
that Spectacles are so tied into Snapchat that it makes sharing the
output very difficult. Grandma and Grandpa are not going to use
Snapchat, and I'm not sure Snapchat wants them to. You can,
eventually, import into Snapchat then export single videos back out
again, but they lose the cool display method for circular videos
and look awful. I think they could shift some of these glasses with
a little rebranding and a spin-off app just for importing videos
into whatever destination you want. They'll never do that, though.
Maybe if they finally declare it dead they'll open up the sync API,
but I'm not holding my breath.(this is a repost of an old comment I
wrote a few days ago in case anyone is suffering from deja-vu)
Analemma_ - 25 minutes ago
> Grandma and Grandpa are not going to use Snapchat, and I'm not
sure Snapchat wants them to.There's no maybe about it: Snapchat
definitely doesn't want them. Evan Spiegel has been very upfront
that he doesn't want the riff-raff. Snapchat has always been
deliberately shitty on Android and Spiegel went out of his way to
make clear how they definitely weren't going to make a Windows
Phone application, back when WP was a potential player. If you're
not a cool, hip teen with an iPhone, you can piss off.He reminds
me a lot of that Abercrombie CEO who said that they didn't want
fatties and uglies in their stores, which was a winning strategy
until it suddenly wasn't.This is partially why, as much as I hate
Facebook, I'm not particularly upset at Snapchat slowly getting
steamrolled by them. Businesses that stick up their middle finger
at potential customers out of snobbery deserve to fail.
modeless - 22 minutes ago
Google just released a product that is aimed directly at this
opportunity: Google Clips. You don't wear it on your face, so
it's a little different, but it's clearly designed for hands free
use by parents, and it should be a little easier to get the
videos out and onto whatever service you
untog - 18 minutes ago
Yes! I'll be interested to see the reaction to it. Having to
carry it around and clip it to things feels a little unwieldy,
and no audio is an odd restriction, but the idea of smartly
detecting clips worth keeping is absolutely fascinating. And
the whole thing shows exactly the kind of parent-focused design
Snapchat obviously doesn't do.
pix64 - 34 minutes ago
Never even heard of this
eddie_catflap - moments ago
I?d heard of them, didn?t even know they were out yet and today I
find they?ve already failed. Ho hum.
sssparkkk - 28 minutes ago
So how about this: the influencers on Snapchat are all recording
themselves most of the time. These glasses did nothing to help with
that particular and most popular use case.I feel really weird for
being the first to bring this up, it seems pretty obvious to me the
main reason these glasses weren't going to catch on.
fezz - 7 minutes ago
Misdirected Narcissism. Never forget who's the star.
Balgair - 5 minutes ago
I mean, a lot of us felt this way, but yeah, I think you are the
first to articulate it.What they actually wanted was something
more like the cop drones in the new Blade Runner that hover about
and take video in near silence. There are quite a few
kickstarters that claim they can do this, but the drones are
loud. This generates attention on the drone, not the corporate-
shill. Err, sorry, snap-fluencer, my bad. Also, the battery life
is terrible and I can see airspace getting crowded at homecoming
in the multi-use-room.https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sqdr
AJ007 - 1 minutes ago
After I got the spectacles here were the reactions I got, from
people in the 21-35 demographic:First, wow I had no idea these
existedSecond, where can I get themThird, (months later) lost
interestSnapchat should have just had a buy now button in the
app. Instead they tried to do some guerrilla marketing thing. If
you have a captive audience of tens of millions of people, you
don't need to create buzz around your product. Either you made
something people want or you didn't. Me personally, they hurt my
face. So I wore them about twice.
chiefalchemist - 16 minutes ago
Shame I can only upvote this once.
mattbierner - 27 minutes ago
Besides their technical and marketing failings, spectacles are also
a failure of imagination. They attempt to digitize moments rather
than trying to use technology to enhance what you are doing or to
create entirely new artificial experiences. I wish this was why
they failed but the reasons outlined in the article are much more
lustyHogwash - 18 minutes ago
God damn it. These fucking wearable pieces of shit need to stand on
their own. They can?t be unrepairable, expensive, tethered pieces
of shit that die when the battery refuses to charge.No one wants
garbage that only works with one website, and no one wants to pay
for an uncontrollable device with a mind of its own.If you have a
free service on the internet, millions or perhaps even billions may
clamour to use it. If you?re giving stuff out for free, people will
happily try it out, if they have the option to throw it in the
trash without consequence.Make people pay for something? It better
do what they want, when they want it, or you might have some pissed
off people on your hands.
chiefalchemist - 13 minutes ago
In short:Getting people to spend their free time is relatively
easy.Getting people to spend their hard earned cash is very
(very) difficult.You'd think this would be obvious already :)