MASTERCLASSING

US Consumers Snap Up Spectacles

Tyrone Stewart

snapchat spectaclesSnapchat’s Spectacles have seen hundreds of people camping out at various locations across the US, for the last two weeks, to get their hands on the $129.99 (£104.16) camera glasses.

Spectacles were revealed to the world when footage of the product was leaked in September – before the company itself went public with its new piece of hardware and company name (Snap Inc).

The glasses have been a revelation since they first popped up in a vending machine called the ‘Snapbot’ on Venice Beach. Since then, the goggles have appeared in vending machines all over the US – arriving in locations such as Tulsa, Oklahoma and Manhattan and New York – and have even been found to have an augmented reality feature. They are being sold on eBay for up to $1000, as people all over the globe long to have the specs.

The Spectacles have a 115-degree angle lens, which is designed to mimic how the human eye sees. It will record 10 seconds of video, via a tiny camera in the frame, as a circle of lights around the lens illuminates to let others know you are filming.

Once video has been recorded, it will transmit via Bluetooth or wi-fi to a paired device via Snapchat. From there, users can choose to post the video to their account’s Story for others to see. The glasses case, impressively, doubles as a charger when the Spectacles are not in use.

But the project had far more humble beginnings. The journey towards the Spectacles began in 2014 when Snap Inc’s CEO Evan Spiegel acquired Vergence Labs for $15m. Vergence Labs was founded by Erick Miller and Jonathan Rodriguez in 2011. The Vergence team created Google Glass-like smart glasses called Epiphany Eyewear that record video stored within the glasses’ hardware for livestream upload to a computer or social media site, using smartphone technology.

Miller left Snap six months after joining as director of technology, but Rodriguez, and the rest of the core team, remain part of the California-based company.

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