The future for the tech industry looks promising with all the endless possibilities that came with the introduction of augmented reality. With it, we could potentially make those futuristic features in science fiction movies come true: blending the real world with a game world or even displaying information virtually in front of your eyes. The sky is the limit, especially since all the big tech companies are developing augmented reality glasses. But despite their each and individual success in generating hype, none of them have seemed to create a breakthrough in the market. What was the cause of their demise?
Snapchat’s Spectacles were advertised as glasses that captured moments without taking the user out of the experience in a unique circular video format
In 2017, Snapchat launched its own augmented reality glasses called Spectacles and yet despite the Snapchat app’s huge success, the Spectacles did not achieve the same dedicated following as the company’s app. One of its major mistakes was in marketing as the company released limited batches of the glasses in late 2016 to the public and didn’t make them available online until 2017. That was enough time for people to decide that it wasn’t worth getting the new glasses. Users realized that it was more of a hassle to record videos on the Spectacles compared to recording on the phone. To connect via bluetooth, you had to do it through the Snapchat app itself and even then it wouldn’t record and send high definition videos to your phone in an instant. Furthermore, due to its circular format, you couldn’t view the videos in the same way on Snapchat on other platforms. While it would allow a full view of the video on Snapchat as you rotated the phone, the video transformed into a small circle encased in a white box. This was a huge negative factor especially since nowadays being able to share across multiple social media platforms is a feature most users embrace and reply on. The most disappointing fact is that the glasses don’t even have the augmented reality features that all users love on the Snapchat app. All it really does is record videos like how a phone can already do. So what’s unique about? Nothing really except that it’s a hassle to use.
There are other successful augmented reality “glasses” out there but their only problem is the heavy hardware it requires. Snapchat’s design is the closest there is to a glasses-looking gadget. Others like the HoloLens from Microsoft cover half of your face and encompass around your entire head. There’s no way you can step outside without looking suspicious and awkward with such a huge thing on your head. It can’t be comfortable either. And of course the price for such an impressive piece of equipment is at a high price of $3000.
Microsoft HoloLens is the first self-contained, holographic computer, enabling you to engage with your digital content and interact with holograms in the world around you.
Our technology hasn’t reached our expectations of augmented reality gear yet but there is progress being made. And as our hardware become more small and efficient, it won’t be long until our dreams are achieved. Who knows, maybe in the next decade, these glasses will be just as essential in our lives as our smartphones currently are.