Snapchat recently announced its fledgling venture into the hardware space: Snapchat Spectacles, an intriguing new device slated to launch in late 2016.

But Google Glass was a flop! Why would Snapchat waste time on this?

Thankfully, Spectacles are actually not an expensive, clunky rework of Google Glass. They’re a whole new animal: affordable, attractive (in a hip sort of way), and fun.

These $129 snappy wireless shades enable wearers to take photos and videos that save instantly to their Snapchat Memories. When they’re ready, users can apply filters and other tools within the mobile app as usual, then post. We’re also hoping that down the road, the specs will incorporate all editing functions and allow users to post directly from their glasses.

But why these quirky-looking glasses? I have a smartphone that does all that stuff.

We wondered that too. But imagine recording experiences and inspirations with almost no effort or distraction—no fumbling with a phone or strapping a GoPro to a helmet. Better still, the captured media is vivid, authentic and immersive, with a 115-degree lens that mimics human sight.

For creatives like us, that sounds like nirvana. And while the glasses will be marketed as a novelty item for the moment, we can totally see them being adapted for all kinds of uses: data collection for research, recordkeeping, media production, surveillance and more. We doubt you’ll have to be a social fanatic or a graphic designer to have a great time with Spectacles soon.

If Spectacles manage to live up to the hype, we predict that their success will be due, at least in part, to a key strategic advantage—straight-up simplicity. Spectacles aren’t trying to do everything. They’re designed to do a handful of simple things in beautiful, seamless ways. This approach stands in sharp contrast to Google Glass’ overwhelming functionality and prohibitive price tag.

The Spectacles launch is provoking all kinds of questions at Ignite. For example, could Spectacles become the newest advertising vehicle? Tweet us at @IgniteIdeasNow to share your questions and predictions about the future of social hardware. We’d love to hear from you. Be sure to check back after the Spectacles launch for our product experience review.

Image credit: Spectacles