Snap Inc. has started rolling out its first hardware product Spectacles, a pair of camera-equipped sunglasses that automatically syncs videos with your Snapchat, in an intriguing fashion. The company will be rolling out Snapbot, an interactive vending machine painted in its signature bright yellow, around the country, starting today with one on Venice Beach near its L.A. headquarter. The Snapbot features a large eye-shaped display and can recognize customers approaching thanks to its front-facing camera. The locations of the Snapbots will change on a daily basis and fans can visit spectacles.com to discover where the Snapbots will appear next.
Why Brands Should Care
Snap Inc. is smart to choose this intriguing way to roll out Spectacles, which drives fan enthusiasm and engagement with elements of surprise and limited-time urgency. But perhaps more importantly, the arrival of Spectacles signals that we are approaching an age where cameras are increasingly becoming one of our primary input sources of our digital interactions. Beyond Snapchat, Mastercard is now allowing app users in Europe to authenticate their payments with a selfie, and the Hawaii Tourism Authority recently launched a digital campaign that uses facial recognition technology to create personalized travel recommendations and offer tailored travel packages. As these examples indicate, the surging prominence of visual input is set to bring a new set of opportunities and challenges that brands will have to learn to navigate in order to adapt to the shifting consumer digital habits and stay connected with their audiences.
Header image courtesy of Spectacles’ YouTube