Thursday morning I’m sipping coffee and scouring the news for some signs of intelligent life and my Facebook Messenger starts pinging, “Hey you still in Santa Monica?” A question from a friend in Ohio comes through. “Yes….” “Well I was just wondering if you’d do me a favor? Can you go to the pier and buy me a pair of glasses?”
Seems a bit odd. I mean he’s in Ohio and they have to have optometrists there right? Well it turns out these are SPECIAL glasses. Created by SnapChat. They have an integrated camera that links to your SnapChat account. It’s wearable technology.
I was headed down to the pier area anyways to hit the gym and said, “Sure, I can stop in and get a pair for you.” Little did I know….
Driving down to the pier at 7:10 a.m. I figured I would just park at the Loews Hotel, walk over and get a pair of glasses, and go workout. Silly me.
As I came close to the pier, down by Big Deans, I’m seeing people in the parking lot, rushing to the pier. On the pier, young men are running towards the arcade. There are skinny dudes in jeans, and husky dudes in sweatpants, there is a decided lack of women in line.
I was reminded what Simon Sinek the author of Start With Why said, in his TEDxPugetSound speech he talks about how people adopt technology. There are early adopters – they always have the latest thing – late adopters – they take a while to see if it will work – and laggards – they only have pushbutton phones because you can’t buy a rotary phone anymore.
Reaching the end of the line of about 125 people I start chatting with those around me – these are all early adopters. There’s a young man who’s buying these glasses to resell on Ebay. Behind him is one of the few women, she too is looking just to resell these things. There’s a couple of roommates/boyfriends (I wasn’t quite sure given the way they were bickering, could have been lovers) one of whom wanted the glasses and dragged the other along to buy extras to resell.
The line did not move. For 45 minutes. At all. Then, it moves. 9 feet. I’m not happy. But it gives me a chance to chat up the tall dude in front of me with some interesting tattoos. His name is Ryan Friedman and these weird tats are tweets. Short pithy sayings by people like Kanye, Drake and the boy toy known as Justin Timberlake. He came up with the idea and founded this company to make and sell the removable tattoos. It’s kind of a cool idea.
As we’re just standing around waiting for nothing to happen, one of the guys near me says something that is really funny to me, “In SnapChat tradition….” I think this is a company that has been around for barely 5 years. Originally it was called Picaboo. Odd how the world sees a 5 year old company as having traditions, but I guess they do. He was referring to the location of this sunglass vending machine that gets moved around and placed in picturesque spots.
SnapChat had built a sunglass dispenser that they locate around the country to distribute these special glasses, and this posting had it in the arcade on the pier. It was a giant yellow box with three buttons and card reader.
I wait another 45 minutes and give up. The line has not moved appreciably in 90 minutes – probably a good thing for marketing purposes, but annoying to me. As I’m walking out there is a man with the actual glasses already. He’s showing them off to people, so I stop to ask what’s the deal? Why are these so special?
“They allow me to snap easily and hands free. It goes directly to my SnapChat and I can keep doing what I’m doing” said Eibar Pena. He works for Spectac Security and was there to grab as many as he could. “We need about 10 more. We want to use them for our security guards. It reduces the need for written reports about incidents and creates a better record” he continued.
The integration of technology into our daily lives and businesses continue. Companies like SnapChat are pushing the envelope, people are using their technology in ways that I never would have considered and I can only wonder what future brings.
But I’ll have to wait til they’re a bit more mainstream – I’m not waiting all day to spend $130 for a pair of sunglasses.
David Pisarra is a Los Angeles Divorce and Child Custody Lawyer specializing in Father’s and Men’s Rights with the Santa Monica firm of Pisarra & Grist. He welcomes your questions and comments. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 310/664-9969.You can follow him on Twitter @davidpisarra