Is Snapchat taking over Apple’s position as the lead innovator?

Snap's Spectacles are glorified sunglasses, with a light on the front and a button on the side. Users can tap the side-button once to record a 10-second video, or three times to record a 30-second video. (Brayan D.D./Wikipedia Commons)

On Friday night, a video of Snapchat’s newest product was leaked on the Internet, taking the world by a storm. Forced CEO Evan Spiegel of what is now being called “Snap Inc.,” was to announce that the company formerly known as Snapchat would be releasing their first ever wearable product: Spectacles.

Although the surprise factor period has ended, the details of Snap’s Spectacles are leaving consumers asking for more. The Spectacles are glorified sunglasses, with a light on the front and a button on the side. Users can tap the side-button once to record a 10-second video, or three times to record a 30-second video. Videos will be recorded in an all-new circular format, utilizing a 115-degree lens which is supposed to closely replicate the way our human eyes see the world. 

Although previous users and critics of Google Glass might be ready to quell the flames surrounding the exciting new product, Snap has decided to place a light on the front of the glasses to alert video subjects that they are being recorded. Snap has been very calculated in designing sunglasses that are both fashion-forward and a necessary camera gizmo.

But who really needs Snap Spectacles? At $130 a pair, the glasses are competing with Ray-Ban and other top design companies, without the associated grandeur. The glasses have to be charged, and videos have to be wirelessly sent to your phone before you can send them out to friends and family.

While we’ll have to wait until the official release of the glasses to see if they’re actually practical, all of the rage surrounding the new product brings feelings of nostalgia. Except these feelings used to be associated with a much bigger company, one that has been taking the hit for the past few years as a less-than-exciting technology giant: the one and only, Apple Inc.

There was a time when Apple lead innovation. From the iconic video of Steve Jobs announcing that Apple would be creating a phone with “no buttons” to the first iPad’s release in 2010, Apple held the world’s attention. Millions of people would tune in to watch for the release of Apple’s next ground-breaking product.

Although some were skeptical about whether these interesting new gadgets would actually be of commercial appeal, there was no question that Apple was the front-runner in innovative technology. Products that nobody had ever imagined a use for were suddenly found in millions of homes. Apple brought their customers finely crafted products that would leave any non-believer in awe.

Those times, unfortunately, have come and gone. Although the company has contributed tremendously to the technological world we now live in, consumers are getting tired of seeing “innovation” come to mean a new iOS upgrade with maybe two or three changes at best, or an iPhone with no headphone jack.

While people have come to expect tremendous things from Apple, Snapchat never set out to be the lead innovator in technology. The app has had tremendous success, and would still be used as much today regardless of the plethora of upgrades the company has instituted throughout its 5 years in existence.

There is no denying, however, that Snapchat has come leaps-and-bounds in those five years. From the first app with just a few filters and ten-second pictures, Snapchat has evolved to include video, rotating facial-recognition filters, an elevation-detector, geotags and so much more. On top of it all, the innovation of “Snapchat stories” has changed the way people around the world choose to update friends about their daily activities. Snapchat has made Twitter, Instagram and Facebook almost obsolete. And while nobody expects them to innovate, they do.

From adding “Snap-Cash” in 2014 to the Snapchat “live feed,” the company doesn’t stop surprising everyone with new updates. And now, to top it all off, the company changed their name to “Snap” in order to open their horizons and allow the creation of products like the Spectacles.

While we’ll have to wait to find out if Snap’s Spectacles will be a success, the company will continue pushing boundaries and presenting consumers with the excitement that once surrounded new Apple products.

Gulrukh Haroon is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached by email at