As TechCrunch reported last year, Snapchat’s Spectacles were bought by just 0.08% of its users. What’s more, less than 50% of buyers continued using the gadgets a month after the purchase.
With hundreds of thousands of pairs wasting away in warehouses, causing great losses for the company, you’d have thought that Snapchat would have learnt its lesson and realised that, maybe, users don’t want spectacle-based wearables after all. You only have to have a look at Google Glass to recognise a trend.
However, just like its redesigns, it seems Snapchat isn’t listening to its users and is happy to carry on doing whatever it thinks is best as recently published FCC documents confirm the company is working on a second generation of its Spectacles.
As initially reported by Variety, the filing documents a “wearable video camera” made by Snap Inc, Snapchat’s corporate parent, and label branding shows ‘Spectacles’ and ‘Model 002’. A confidentiality request has blocked off a lot of the information but it seems like this second generation model will support 802.11 ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 for faster file transfer.
This news confirms a report from Cheddar which suggested that the company was planning the launch of second generation of glasses in 2018 and a third gen set for 2019, which will, according to rumours, support two cameras, GPS, and cost around $300.
While The Verge notes that finding a product in the FCC database isn’t a guarantee that the idea will turn into fruition, it is a good indicator that Snapchat is planning to do just that.
As Variety reports, Snap CFO Drew Vollero revealed that the debacle of the original version of Spectacles meant the company had to write off nearly $40m in unsold inventory and excess purchasing commitments due to the overestimations of product demand. So, it certainly seems like Snapchat is taking a big risk by planning to launch not one, but two more Spectacles over the course of the next two years.
Looking into the spectacular failure of the original Spectacles, Tech Crunch noted the lack of influencers, a lack of great content, the fact that they were hard to wear indoors and at night, usability problems, and the fact that people don’t seem to be in favour of wearing camera glasses.
However, Tech Crunch also discussed the fact that, at the initial launch, there was a lot of hype surrounding Snap’s Spectacles. Pictures of Snap’s CEO wearing them, taken by Karl Lagerfeld, were initially shared at the end of September but Snapchat vending machines weren’t launched until November. And they weren’t then on sale until 20 February, by which time a lot of the hype had cooled off.
So, perhaps a shorter marketing cycle could help Spectacles this time around? Only time will tell, but we’ll be very surprised to see people walking around wearing a pair of Spectacles this summer… or even next summer!