Wearables | Why Google got it wrong and Snapchat got it right

A few weeks ago, Snapchat announced that they were bringing out a new pair of video-equipped glasses called ‘Spectacles’ that will record 10 or 30 seconds of footage with just a tap. They are being priced at $129.99 (£100) and will allegedly debut in New York.

It’s a brilliant move into wearables by Snapchat or rather Snap Inc, who are embracing the wearables market and developing the first, relatively cheap, wearable accessory. Granted, it’s also very limited in comparison to the iWatch or Google Glass.. But it is definitely the right move forward.


Here’s how Snap got it right.

Snap got it right because they are encouraging a very small change to an existing behaviour.

The behaviour: Recording short videos and sending them via Snapchat.

The change: Recording those videos on a pair of sunglasses rather than a phone.

This is not a drastic change of behaviour, it’s an easy switch, it’s just putting on a pair of glasses. And the recordings look very similar to that of a GoPro so the appeal is apparent. The price may be a little steep for the younger audience that Snapchat attracts but nevertheless, I believe that they will sell quite a few of the glasses.


Now, let’s look at why Google got it wrong.

Google got it wrong because when they released Google Glass, in 2012, it was way ahead of it’s time in terms of consumer behaviour!

Yes, yes, the innovators took it on and got excited, but Google couldn’t move it past those tech-enthused advocates and onto the early adopters.

Google needed to change too many customer behaviours. Let’s dissect it:

The behaviour: Using Google Maps to get around, making calls, sending emails using a smartphone.

The change: Using all of these with a headband style accessory, on your head, all of the time.

As you can see, there was too much behaviour change involved for the wider market to take this accessory on board.


People need to imagine themselves using something, they need to really see how it will benefit them. Behaviour change is slow. If you have a technological innovation that requires people to change their behaviour, consider this and think about how you can ease people in and make the change slowly.

It will be really interesting to see how the Spectacles do in the coming months.

Do you have an innovation that requires users to make a change in behaviour? I’d love to hear more about how you plan to bring it to market.

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