14 February 2017

I despise most social media. Facebook is nothing but sponsored ads and obscure reminders, Snapchat is just weird filters over poorly-lit selfies, and Twitter is full of (brief :P) political rants.

For some reason, everyone seems to love it all. Everyone has their preferred social network. I’m often posting random tech thoughts on Twitter or reposting Steven Universe fan art on Tumblr. I was interested in Facebook in the earlier days, back when you never saw a sponsored post, and I briefly tried Instagram when everyone was obsessed with taking pictures of their food, but I’ve really never understood the appeal of Snapchat. It’s incredibly popular, but every time I try to get into it I just get annoyed with the bad UI and complete lack of interesting content. So when Snap, Inc. announced their new name and their first product, you’d think I had no interest.

Snap, Inc.’s Spectacles are amazing. They’re some of the best-designed reasonably-affordable new tech I’ve seen in a long time. The build quality of every part is fantastic, from the custom magnetic USB cable to the charging case. Every little bit of the hardware is designed to serve a purpose without getting in the way of the user.

Using them feels very natural. I’m not sure I’ll ever reach a point where I’m regularly wearing them, but when they are on, starting a recording is a simple button press away. There’s a light on the inside of the frames that indicates when the recording is active and when it’s getting close to ending, allowing you to press again to add another 10 seconds.

My goal with this is to get myself to use Snapchat more. So far I still hate the UI and don’t get the point of the network, but I love using Spectacles! They’re very convenient and flexible since you can just record whatever you’re looking at with no setup and without having to hold anything.

I’ve realized since getting them that my life is fairly boring to watch. I think they’ll help me do interesting things more often so I have a good reason to actually have them. I’ll likely go hiking or something quite a bit more just to have an excuse to use them, kind of like when I first got my DSLR.

Overall, Spectacles are awesome. If you’ve got a bit of cash and either live in NYC, get really lucky and find a Snapbot, or want to spend a bit extra to get one on eBay, I highly recommend getting a pair.