To be honest, I thought the Snapchat spectacles were a waste of money when I first heard about them. “Oh great, another company trying to make glasses with a gimmick”. So I put them out of my mind and moved on despite hearing about all the craze in Los Angeles and New York regarding their pop-up Spectacle vending machines.
Fast forward to this past weekend. I was on a trip with a group of friends and a couple of them brought their Spectacles along. Every now and then they would press the button on the side of the glasses to start recording a 10 second video. Although they used it quite regularly, I almost never noticed them filming except for in darker areas where the ring of light around the camera would animate while it was recording. At this moment I had revised my opinion of them to “They’re great “spy-like” glasses for recording video”.
The true “aha” moment came at the end of each day when my friends would view the footage and transfer it to their phones. As we watched each clip I felt that I was seeing each moment through their eyes, not just some video they had recorded. It turns out that the 115 degree angle lens being placed on a pair of glasses right next to your eyes is a great POV (Point of View) recording combo. This led to the next realization, “Why bother taking out a camera/phone, or strapping a GoPro to your head to record?” Just throw on a pair of Spectacles and press the button to record while still living in the moment. There’s no need to check a screen to make sure you’ve got the shot, or fumble with opening up an app or sending it right then an there. The key to the future of the Spectacles (in my opinion) is that it allows you to live in the moment, record the moment, and relive the moment.
However, there are a couple of improvements that I think would greatly increase its adoption for “capturing the moment”.
Waterproof it (allows you to take it to more areas)
Hide the camera better or make it smaller (allows you to put it into other styles)
Make the lenses swappable so that you can have clear ones for night-time or indoors but shades for the day (allows you to wear it in more areas)
Make the battery last longer (always on the list for any electronic)
Make the video capture capabilities longer (having options is always better and being able to select the default length of clips would be nice. Press the button again in the middle of recording to stop it earlier)
Will I buy one now? Maybe. But I’ll be looking out for the V2 for sure.
This is how it was left hanging for about a week before I bought an electrical box at a nearby Home Depot that would fit next to my original electrical box so I could begin mounting it. Steps for the finishing touches were as follows:
Cut out a bigger hole in my drywall (making sure that it was still small enough to fit under the included mounting plate)
Mount the transformer/relay next to the original electrical box. (Something to keep in mind: Double check to see if your original electrical box is bigger than its opening. If it does, you will most likely not be able to place another box right next to it without have to do some patching of the drywall after)
Paint over any small marks or discrepancies with the mounting so that it would look as good as new!
The bigger hole was still small enough for the face plate to cover (included with the Nest) and I was able to paint over the edges to make it look as good as new!
It’s been a while since I last made a smart home device, not because my home is fully automated or because there wasn’t a need for another device, but because I still live in a rented unit and didn’t want to to spend the time making and setting up custom devices that would need to be torn down in the future.
Well the other day I realized that I could build another home automation device without a long-term stationary placement requirement! Not too long ago I built voice integration into my smart home system using the Amazon Echo (check out the articles here). While this worked well for moments without ambient noise, it failed to work well during parties, while watching movies, or while listening to music on my sound system. Obviously I needed another way to interact with these smart home devices and the current method of pulling out a phone or tablet, unlocking it, then switching between apps just didn’t appeal to me. What I really wanted was a universal remote that could also talk to my smart home devices.
So I started designing and planning out the features that I would want in my smart home controller and it had to be wireless charged (because replacing batteries or being tethered to a wall is archaic). Here’s the requirements I came up with:
LED Screen to provide visual input (battery life, device selected, value selected, etc.)
Neopixel Ring (because who doesn’t love feedback through colors?)