Home Science & Technology Spectacles: Snapchat Launches Its $130 Sunglasses with Built-In Camera

Spectacles: Snapchat Launches Its $130 Sunglasses with Built-In Camera

Snapchat has launched Spectacles, the company’s first gadget – sunglasses with a built-in camera.

Spectacles will go on sale later this year priced at $130.

The glasses will record up to 30 seconds of video at time.

As part of the announcement, Snapchat is renaming itself to Snap, Inc.

Image source Snapchat

Image source Snapchat

The company’s renaming decision underlined its apparent ambition to go beyond the ephemeral messaging app, a product which is highly popular with young people.

An article published by the Wall Street Journal on September 23 showed Snap’s 26-year-old creator Evan Spiegel in a series of pictures taken by legendary fashion photographer Karl Lagerfeld.

In an interview, Evan Spiegel explained his rational for creating Spectacles.

“It was our first vacation, and we went to [Californian state park] Big Sur for a day or two. We were walking through the woods, stepping over logs, looking up at the beautiful trees.

“And when I got the footage back and watched it, I could see my own memory, through my own eyes – it was unbelievable.

“It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience. It was the closest I’d ever come to feeling like I was there again.”

On September 24, Snap released some limited information about how the glasses will work.

Footage will be recorded in a new, circular format which can be viewed in any orientation, the company said. The battery on the device will last around a day.

A light on the front of the device will indicate to people nearby when the glasses are recording.

Prior to confirmation from Snap about the product, Business Insider published a promotional video it found on YouTube showing the product. The video has since been taken down.

Spectacles will remind many of Google Glass, an ill-fated attempt by the search giant to create smart glasses.

While Google Glass did get into the hands of developers around the world – at a cost of $1,500 each – the device never came close to being a consumer product. Google eventually halted development, but insisted the idea was not dead.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Snap is not treating Spectacles as a major hardware launch, rather a fun toy that will have limited distribution.

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