Snap has announced its Spectacle sunglasses are now available for purchase though vending machines, called Snapbots, that will be touring throughout the United States. The first of these arrived in Venice Beach today nearby the company’s headquarters.
The machines will only be present in each location for about a day at a time — they are ephemeral, like a Snap, in case you didn’t get that — with new locations revealed about 24 hours in advance via a map on Spectacles.com. The company says these still unannounced locations will be places where memories are made.
The machines themselves are bright yellow and will have motion sensors that turn on its circular screen when someone steps into view. Using the Snapbot’s built in camera visitors can then virtually try on the devices, similar to using Snapchat’s augmented reality photo filters, in each of three colors — coral, black and teal.
Alternatively, Snapchat users can look for a Spectacles Geofilter to show up in the app if a bot is nearby, so they can virtually try on the glasses from their phones.
The limited distribution and lack of an option to buy the glasses online suggests Snap isn’t looking to sell many of these, but it’s a smart marketing stunt for the brand. The company had previously said Spectacles were more of an experiment with very limited availability.
The $130 glasses have what Snap Inc. calls “one of the smallest wireless cameras in the world” integrated into them. Pressing a button near the hinge records 10 seconds of video, during which time a ring of LEDs will light up. The device connects directly to Snapchat via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, and recorded footage is transferred directly into the app. The Spectacles have an 115-degree field of view and captures footage with a fisheye-style look.