A social media app, Snapchat allows mobile users to flash photos to their followers – the photos self-destruct after they have been viewed for a few seconds. But now there is more from the California based tech company.
How very James Bond!
Snapchat has launched sunglasses – called Spectacles – with inbuilt camera technology linking to its software. This type of gadgetry sounds very James Bond. Perhaps less Bond-like is the fact that now in the early days of their availability, initially on the West Coast of the US only, Spectacles can only be bought from vending machines!
Recently, Snapchat has begun to change its focus, abbreviating its name to Snap Inc and describing itself as a camera company. On its website it says it is reinventing the camera: “which represents the greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate.” These are big aims.
The pros and cons of Snapchat
From my perspective, Snapchat has clear pros and cons. A lot of orthodontists and dentists have already encountered the mobile app because patients like to take pictures of themselves in the practice. This challenges our responsibility to be very cautious about patient data – so when asked by patients if they can take pictures in the surgery we are advised to say no or offer to send our own pictures to the patient.
But obviously, Snapchat has built up a huge following worldwide. It’s particularly popular with millennials, namely anyone born after 1995. Recently it was announced that Snapchat are going ‘public‘ and it’s estimated the value may be $25 billion.
My generation – Generation X – didn’t have mobile phones as part of everyday life as we grew up. For me and my peers, what’s astonishing is to see the device that we originally bought for making phone calls on the move become so multi-functional. Mini-computer, storage device, camera, maps and telephone directory..the list goes on! It’s the ultimate technology for living life in the moment.