Snap Inc., the company behind the wildly popular messaging app, Snapchat, announced a new product a couple of months ago called Spectacles. The smartphone-connected sunglasses use a special 115-degree wide-angle camera, which is meant to imitate what the human eye sees, and they come equipped with an indicator light to let other people know when they are in use. The glasses are built specifically for use with the Snapchat app and will record memories in 10-second bursts with the press of a button. Now, the company has finally started selling the smart glasses in limited quantities. Unlike Google Glass, Spectacles work only with the Snapchat app and cost significantly less to purchase.
Currently, the only way to purchase Spectacles officially is via yellow vending machines that the company is setting up in various locations. The vending machines are being referred to as “Snapbots,” and the locations will vary from day to day. Snap is not telling customers where to expect the machines in advance but is announcing the location on their website during the times in which the glasses are available. While intentionally limiting the quantity does reduce the number of units the company is likely to sell, for the time being, the scarcity of the Spectacles has created a high demand. Users on eBay are reselling the devices for as much as $950. Those who wish to get their hands on the glasses, and were not fortunate enough to be able to make it to a Snapbot before all of the devices had sold out, will have no choice but to purchase the item from a third party, which gives the reseller the opportunity to set the price as they see fit. As the company introduces more practical ways to buy Spectacles in the future, it is likely that their prices on eBay will drop, as they will be more widely available, but for the time being, those who can’t wait may have to pay quite a bit more for them.
Spectacles are available in a variety of colors and come with their own case that can be used to recharge them. The price is $130, and at the time of this writing, they are only officially available for purchase through the Snapbot vending machines, though it is likely that the company will offer other ways to purchase the glasses in the near future.