The new Snapchat Spectacles are awful

We swore on Knapsack to be positive. We’d post reviews of the things we loved, things we’d use, and things worth knowing.

I just broke that promise. Why?

Ugh. Look at these things. And think about these things.

While the design is fair to middling, think about the context that these things were created. They’re designed to capture amazing moments of your life, unfettered. Fine. If your life is one big party then they’re great.

But they invade everyone’s privacy by their very existence. In an era of untrammeled surveillance they add another set of cameras to the mix. And they will quick become obsolete because in an era where everyone is being watched no one will want another set of eyes.

The techlash – the tech backlash – is real and these are tone deaf and silly. While the idea of the rise of the influencer is fine and egalitarian, the chaff is always thrown out in the winnowing and the long tail of influencers will eventually settle back into the unknown. That’s sad but that’s real.

To suggest that your life is important or exciting enough to “snap” 24/7 is unhealthy to the point of danger. I realize the irony of saying this on a public blog dedicated to sharing my own silly ideas and I welcome discussion on the topic of “spectacle journalism” – the idea that we must make ourselves the observer and the subject of each story, of each action. But come on…

Anyway, these things are dumb and cost $380. Don’t buy them.

John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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