Company transitions from screens to lenses.

Neely Metz, Features Editor

While many teens view photo sharing and messaging application Snapchat as a way to send quick selfies adorned with doodles and filters to friends, the addition of a new product may change how people see the rebranded Snapchat as Snap Inc.

Unveiled on September 23, Spectacles, sunglasses featuring a built-in camera, are now advertised by the mainstream company — straying from the social media app that brought Snap Inc to the phone screens of millions.

“I feel like it’s a device that is just famous for being famous,” junior Trinity Lee said. “It’s one of those things that you buy to show other people, not something that you would genuinely enjoy.”

Featuring frames in black, teal and coral, the hands-free camera can record up to 10 seconds of video from the user’s perspective. By tapping the top left-hand corner of the glasses, the footage can be saved to the “Memories” section of the Snapchat app through either Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.

Despite bright, colorful ads that may appeal to a younger customer base, 48 percent of students in a Broadview survey referred to Spectacles as “useless,” “unnecessary” and a “waste of money.”

“A lot of people already have glasses in some form, it’s just kind of an extra thing to carry,” junior Francesca Petruzzelli said. “I would be really concerned about losing them, breaking them or cracking the camera lens.”

Snapchat may have gained a large following among teens, as 59 percent of students reported Snapchat to be their favorite social media app and 65 percent claimed to use the app multiple times per day, according to the same survey.

Despite the widely popular social media application, the business’s website states the app’s parent company, Snap Inc, to be primarily a camera company.

“This is just the nature of innovation altogether,” Innobotics Club advisor Chris Person-Rennell said. “It’s no surprise in the course of innovation that a company like Snap Inc would develop hardware specific to their current projects to enhance overall user experience.”

At $129 a pair, the glasses are a fraction of the cost of the $1,500 price tag for Google Glass, a similar product that came to the market in 2013. Due to safety, privacy and aesthetic appeal concerns, Google ultimately halted production of the glasses in 2015, leaving room for similar products to develop.

While the release date for Spectacles has not been announced, the glasses are already being compared to their Google counterpart, leading to similar concerns that may have limited the success of Google Glass.

“The biggest issue with Google Glass had to do with security concerns,” Person-Rennell said. “The problem with Google Glass is that no ‘scrubbing’ of information would occur — you would look around and Google would receive those images of whatever it was you were looking at. I would not be surprised to see similar privacy concerns with Spectacles.”

Some people find Spectacles an unnecessary addition to the wide variety of camera technology at consumers’ disposal as many are content with their phones’ cameras as well as the Snapchat app itself.

“I just like the social media that you can do with your phone,” Petruzzelli said. “It’s definitely easier to just have everything in one place.”