Snapchat’s long-rumored camera glasses are actually real. The startup’s first foray into hardware will be a pair of glasses called “Spectacles” and will go on sale this fall for $129.99, as first reported by The WSJ and confirmed to TechCrunch by the newly rebranded Snap Inc..
The glasses will only come in one size, but will be available in three colors – black, teal and coral.
To start recording you tap a button on the side of the glasses. Video capture will mimic Snapchat’s app, meaning you can only capture 10 seconds of video at once. This video will sync wirelessly to your phone, presumably making it available to share as a snap.
Interestingly, the camera will use a 115-degree lens (which is wider than a smartphone or regular camera) and the video captured will be circular. It’s not yet clear how this video will be displayed in the app, but since the field of view is so large Snapchat could either crop it to a vertical format or update the app to allow viewing of circular views.
While Spectacles will be available publicly sometime this fall, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel told the WSJ that they will have “limited distribution” and not “be relied upon for significant immediate revenue”. This means that Spectacles could end up being like Google Glass when it first launched – officially on sale to the public but pretty hard to come by.
Oh, and in a potential nod to Apple’s now decade-old move to eliminate “computer” from its name, Snapchat will dropping “chat” from its name and rebranding to Snap Inc., as we had earlier speculated would happen. That’s a move to signify that Snapchat the app isn’t the only product the company now makes.
Update 09/23 23:46 pm PDT: Now we have the first official video for Spectacles. Unlike the earlier b-roll that leaked out ahead of the announcement, this clip is much more Snapchat-like.