Don’t Buy into the Video Recording Sunglasses Hype

This new tech is not earning rave reviews — here's why

You can’t fight technology. But if you’re looking to fight piracy — then fighting technology is a must. In the tech world, that typically results in technology fighting technology.

“Spectacles” are the hot new craze as far as sunglasses go. While pricey — around $130 — they are no doubt worth it to many people in this “social media means everything” age. Why? Because Spectacles record what the person wearing them is looking at or watching.

They record in 10-second increments, much like Snapchat.

These devices record images in 10-second increments, much like Snapchat. In fact, the breakthrough comes courtesy of Snapchat’s parent company — Snap Inc. So in other words, the wearer (videographer?) can just keep filming — and the short videos will run in succession.

Released last November, these Spectacles are finally available online at spectacles.com. They were initially only available at a pop-up store in Manhattan, but now they’re becoming more widespread — so much so that footage exists of someone wearing a pair while watching someone else undergo a hernia operation.

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But therein lies the rub: How long will it be before they become the voyeur’s accessory du jour? Or a guy is walking around the beach wearing them simply to videotape unsuspecting sunbathers, some of whom might not exactly be of age? Or someone is illegally filming rock concerts and movies?

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Snapchat isn’t likely to care. It had 69 million daily active users as of December. If just 10 percent of those people cough up the $130 for a pair of these James Bond-esque video lenses, then that’s a $900 million business venture. The real goal, however, might just be for Spectacles to feed more “snaps” and “stories” into Snapchat’s digital land — thus boosting the company’s advertising opportunities.

As for the quality of the actual video taken by Spectacles, a Business Insider review was not so kind: “You can’t see what you’re recording in real time. With basically any other camera, you can watch the video as you’re recording it, ensuring that you’re capturing what you intend to. But with Spectacles, it’s basically a guess. Because the lens has a fish-eye effect, it was hard to tell what would be in the frame and what would get cut off. And if you were hoping to record video with the Spectacles at nighttime, good luck.”

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While that’s not necessarily a rave review, it’s probably also not much of a deterrent to the masses that flock to Snapchat every day to either feed videos into the social media platform, or watch what’s been posted since the last time the user logged on. As for the creep who has seedy motives? He won’t care if it’s grainy at all.

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