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Snapchat Spectacles and I Guess Wearables in General

Just some thoughts on this stuff, I’m not structuring this really.

Snapchat is making Internet glasses, and they actually look kind of cool. They’re not manufacturing a huge run of them, and there aren’t details yet on whether they’ll have different styles or what, so it’s hard to really predict whether they’ll succeed, or be a weird footnote.

I do love Snapchat’s whole thing they have going, they seem to be the company who best embody that whole quote about how the best ideas are the ideas that sound the worst when you first hear them. Snapchat have a really clear vision of what their role in the world is, and I understand it, and these glasses are a fun experiment for them to mess around with. I love the idea, and I wish I had shares in Snapchat maybe more than any other company right now.

Speaking of shares, GoPro stock took a huge hit in the last year I guess, but they just announced their new product line this week, and it’s amazing. All the new things they’re making are great, and I want all of it. Their drone has a gimbal that comes off and transforms into a handheld stabilizer which is genius, it’s so good, just incredibly amazing and smart, I want one so bad. Even the little keychain fob that sends pics to your phone looks awesome. Oh yeah, so the reason I brought this up though is: If GoPro stock keeps going down low enough (I’m not saying it will, especially given their new products), Snapchat should just buy them. The reason GoPro isn’t doing well, as far as I can tell, is that the whole action sports market has shrunk in the past little while, but Snapchat could get GoPro on the life-blogging tip. Hooking the GoPro Session up to Snapchat would be really, really interesting.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-11-34-48-pm
THE DANG GOPRO SESSION IS SO DANG SMALL AND COOL

Wearables are such an odd thing, I can never really come up with a steady opinion on them in general.

I never thought Google Glass would work, because they were so big and looked really dumb but I did think, deep in my heart, that if Google stuck it out and kept refining them, and making the dang camera smaller, and giving people more choice of frames, that they’d end up being accepted. I was surprised when Google gave up, I thought they were going to work on them for way longer.

THESE ARE NOT EVEN SYMMETRICAL COME ON
THESE ARE NOT EVEN SYMMETRICAL COME ON

I was really interested in Fitbit when it first came out, and was some dongle you stuck in your pocket. The newer ones look very good, and I see the appeal, although they’re not for me. I used to really doubt that a simple device could change habits that people held for years, but I’ve seen a number of people who are really into tracking their 10,000 steps with Fitbits, so I may have been wrong.

I struggle with an opinion for the Apple Watch. It seems wimpy and somewhat useless, but they’re improving it, and it’s hard to really say that any Apple product is terrible, at least without using it a while. Which I haven’t. It’s also laughable to predict any Apple product is going to fail, so I certainly would never say that – I feel like Apple are dedicated to the Watch and are going to stick it out for a while (like I thought with Google Glass).

I still think the whole health side of the Apple Watch is way overhyped and ridiculous though, like all the stuff in the initial keynote about how they were going to gather all this amazing health data and use it to diagnose diseases and crap like that, by uhh.. some kind of sensor that touches a wrist? I feel like I know enough about the body, and technology, to say that’s not a real thing, and that data would just be so insanely noisy and low quality.

I do want an Android Wear 2.0 watch, those look pretty cool. I couldn’t wear a rectangular watch like the Apple one, but the Moto 360, for example, looks pretty great to me. It looks like a nice normal watch, but does a bunch of extra stuff. That’s actually what I don’t like most about the Apple Watch I guess, it breaks one belief that I have:

I feel like if you’re creating a new product, and one part of it is wildly novel (like it’s a smart watch), you need to make the rest of it not very novel, just stick to what people are used to. So for the Apple Watch, don’t make it a smartwatch, and also make it a rectangle, and also make it look extremely space-age and kind of.. whatever. I’m not saying Apple can’t get away with it, but I doubt anyone else could. (Also I know some traditional watches are rectangular, but not many, come on).

Anyway yeah, I’d like a Moto 360 or some Android watch, and I might even have got one by now if I didn’t suspect new ones are coming soon. I don’t even honestly know why I want one, they don’t seem that useful, but I just like the idea of being as prepared as possible for like.. digital living or something.

Maybe the reason is: I’m old enough that I remember what life was like when there was no information anywhere, and it was grim. I mean, going outside was nice, I vaguely remember the sun and whatnot, but if you wanted to learn something, you had to work for it, really hard. You had to go find a book, and that would mean going to a library, or a bookstore, and those might be a long way away. Or you’d have to phone someone! And then if you got a bad book, you’d learn a bunch of incorrect stuff, and you wouldn’t even know it! So I think there are guys like me who remember how there used to be no information anywhere, on anything, so now I want to make sure I’ve got the full information possible at any time.

Oh yeah my other thought is that if Apple, or Android or whoever, hold on until the smartwatches can fully make phone calls without needing a phone attached, then it’s game over, everyone will have one for sure. Obviously I’m not the first person to say this, but I just realized that I’m discussing a whole bunch of garbage about wearables success, without mentioning that obvious thing.

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