Snapchat begins sales of newly released Spectacles


Katherine Zhang

Bryan Wang (9) wears a pair of Spectacles while posing with a group of friends for a selfie.

by Adrian Chu, Opinion Editor

Snap began their online sales of their Spectacles in February, a pair of glasses with cameras compatible with iOS and Android built for the Snapchat app initially sold last November.

The Spectacles can record 10-30 second circular videos with the press of a button on the top of its frame and upload them to Snapchat or your camera roll through bluetooth or with Wi-Fi for HD video. They also function as sunglasses.

“Just like any other piece of new technology, I’d probably be pretty excited with it over the first couple of days, but after a few weeks, I would return to my normal snapchat usage,” Kevin Xu (11) said. “Snapchat is a very spontaneous app for me so being forced to bring the glasses is a big investment. Using a phone is just easier.”

Snap first sold Spectacles through vending machines called bots by the company first appearing in Los Angeles which generating media buzz and anticipation. The “bots” stay in locations temporarily and their next location can be found on Snap’s website or other online sources such as the SnapbotLocation twitter.

Offering the Spectacles in three colors, coral, black and teal, with its charging case and cable, the company ships the product within two to four weeks.

With their competitors’ products, ranging from $189 (Vue’s Kickstarter backed smart glasses) to $2750 (Osterhout Design Group’s R-7 smart glasses system), the Spectacles, at $129.99, is one of the cheapest products in the wearable smart eyeglass market.

While the smart eyewear market is becoming more specialized and ambitious as companies such as Recon Instruments and Solos seek to improve sports performance and the Osterhout Design Group and Sony pursue augmented reality and advanced functions for their glasses, Snap has focused on aesthetic and simplicity for the Spectacles.

Initially developed by Vergence Labs, a company acquired by Snapchat in 2014 for $15 million, the Spectacles, which can capture about 100 ten second snaps on one charge, charge in their case, which holds four full charges.

“Being able to view, capture, and share one’s moments through these spectacles is extremely special since it would be directly from one’s line of sight.” Sohenee Banerjee (11) said. “The fact that moments can be captured for longer than the 10 second time limit Snapchat allows on Androids and iPhones is also a huge plus.”