Glasses – a new wave of computing?
First, there was Google Glasses. A pair of transparent spectacles giving user smartphone-like hands-free way of interacting with the Web and the world around you.
Glasses used augmented reality freely, displaying menus, maps, notifications, even video conferencing directly onto the wearer’s line of sight. It also records videos and takes pictures on command.
Unfortunately a too technical look, along with privacy and security (driving with Google Glasses really?) concerns made the product a flop.
And along came Snap Spectacles – it’s much less ambitious, extremely focused – all it does is captures videos and images for users to post on Snap. No AR, no inbuilt web search.
It is waterproof and in done in the shape of (oddly shaped) sunglasses.
What Snap does have going for it, are their unprecedented reach & influence with the sub 25 year olds, a user base willing to try new technologies and follow new fashion trends – hence the retro sunglasses design.
Having already written off $40 million in losses from the last Spectacles, it seems Snap is betting heavily on glasses as being a new computing interface.
And it’s easy to see why.
mobile touch interfaces and voice control is both more intuitive and has a less learning curve, they’ve already made keyboard and mouse largely irrelevant other than serious office work.
Consumers of the future will expect even smaller and natural ways of getting things done. An interface that sees what we see, and passes back information close to our eyes takes us one step away from body-machine interaction & closer to mind-machine interaction.