Can @Spectacles help us see the future?

MichelleBrady    November 14, 2016

While no one can actually predict the future, we can use past knowledge and current trends to guess what might happen. Social Media is no different. In a podcast with the Social Media Examiner, Rohit Bhargava discusses his book, Non Obvious. He considers “a trend to be an observation about the accelerating present. That means there are signs of something already happening that will become more important”.1 A great example to review is Spectacles by Snap Inc. This new gadget considers past, current and futuristic trends. Snap uses a medium that all people are familiar with wearing (sunglasses) to capture quick videos for social sharing. Snapchat (its former name) already recognized that capturing video upright is more intuitive because people hold mobile phones that way. Snapchat was a trendsetter when it made upright videos acceptable.2 Spectacles operate via Bluetooth and load video content to your mobile device. Their creation of circular video (which captures both vertical and horizontal orientations simultaneously) is very innovative. When the viewer plays the video on a mobile device they can rotate it in any direction and it will display accordingly. Videos for entertainment and information are here to stay and they will inevitably carry us forward. Whether we’re watching live camera feeds around the world, funny YouTube videos or Tasty how-to food clips, we’re validating this trend for the future.

Other key trends outlined by Rohit Bhargava are Unperfection and Glanceable content.3 Both of these trends have also been adapted by Snap through the capture of raw video (organic, unperfect content) and quick capture lengths. Companies are recognizing that their social audience has an abundance of information and not enough time to experience all of it. Catchy headlines are supplied to our newsfeeds and companies such as TheSkimm provide concise synopses of relevant news items so that the user doesn’t need to read the long versions. In the future more companies will need to consider these trends when creating social media content.

Another topic to consider is the future of our data. The amount of data being gathered from online traffic is exponential. We can expect this growth to continue. How we handle all of this information in the future is of utmost importance.

Filtering an abundance of data, reviewing information we’re getting and where it is going, are key considerations. Algorithms are already deciding which information is most readily available to us on newsfeeds and search engines. Information is supplied differently to users considering their interests and target advertisers. Making data smarter is an area for future progress.

To serve us better, personalization algorithms should be able [to] understand our subjective way of seeing connections and meanings around us…Maybe, in order to mark a new era of algorithmically assisted decision-making — and to emphasize the importance of personal agency — we should talk about choice algorithms instead of personalization algorithms.4

Privacy, user-safety and data scrubbing are ongoing concerns that need to be addressed as more personal information is shared online. Also, since the US election there has been a surgeance of deplorable content that has been facilitated through social media. And that’s only the adult users. Our youth is engaging in illegal activities via YouNow, the live streaming video chat site. In a report questioning the safety of this site, examples of naughtiness are documented. Moving forward, and beyond parenting, what can be done to protect children from being exploited in this or similar forums?

Hackers, compromised networks, viruses, theft and data hijacking are all expandable cyber security subjects that will shape how individuals and corporations defend their networks. In his recent article “Why cyber security spending will drive business digitization,” Clint Boulton outlines the necessary movement for corporations to increase cyber security.

Fifty-nine percent of 10,000 C-Suite executives polled by PwC for the new Global State of Information Security Survey said they are investing more in cybersecurity, including data analytics, real-time monitoring, authentication tools that include biometrics and managed security services (MSS).5

Lessons for Others

A trend will either change the way consumers make decisions or change the way companies structure their business models or how they do business.6 What we are doing now in social media impacts how we will proceed in the future.

Experiences – whether real or virtual – and capturing these to share with others through video will continue to gain popularity across social platforms especially as more people have access to mobile devices and networks.

Privacy and cyber-security are necessary precautions that we will need to continue to support both as individuals and as corporate consumers.

Organization: Snap Inc.
Industry: a camera company
Name of Organization Contact: N/A

Authored by: Michelle Brady

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site, please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Program Director, Social Media for Business Performance.


  1. Bhargava, Rohit., Stelzner, Michael. (April 17, 2015) Re. Social Media Examiner, Marketing Trends: How to Think Differently and Predict the Future. [podcast] Retrieved on Nov 13, 2016 from
  2. Swan, Marty. (May 1, 2016). Re. Adweek, Snapchat Led the Way With Vertical Video. Will Virool Make It the New Standard? [web article] Retrieved on Nov 14, 2016 from
  3. Stelzner, Michael. (April 17, 2015) Re. Social Media Examiner, Marketing Trends: How to Think Differently and Predict the Future. [website article] Retrieved on Nov 13, 2016 from
  4. Koponen, Jarno. (June 25, 2015) Re. TechCrunch, The Future of Algorithmic Personalization. [website article] Retrieved on November 14, 2016 from
  5. Boulton, Clint. (Oct 6, 2016). Re. CIO, Why cybersecurity spending will drive business digitization. [website] retrieved on Nov 14, 2016 from
  6. Bhargava, Rohit. Re. Social Media Examiner, Marketing Trends: How to Think Differently and Predict the Future. [podcast] Retrieved on Nov 13, 2016 from

Bhargava, Rohit. (2015) Non-Obvious, How to Think Different, Curate Ideas & Predict The Future. [book]

Honka, A., Frommelius, N., Mehlem, A., Tolles, J., and Fietkiewicz, K. (Vol 1, Issue 1, 2015) Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf The Journal of MacroTrends in Social Science. How Safe is YouNow? [MacroJournal] retrieved from

Monterey Bay Aquarium. Re. live shark camera [streaming video] source:

Spectacles. 2016 [website]

Snap Inc. [website]

YouTube. mihaifrancu, Sept 6, 2015. Re. Funny Cats – A Funny Cat Videos Compilation 2015 retrieved on November 14, 2016 from

YouTube. Tasty, Sept 6, 2015. Re. Garlic Parmesan Carrot Fries. video retrieved on November 14, 2016 from