Snap Inc. launched its first hardware product, a pair of smart sunglasses called Spectacles, in late 2016. The glasses were initially only sold through pop-up vending machines sprinkled across the country. The approach created some early excitement but once the newness wore off, interest faded and Snap was left with $40 million in unsold inventory.
Most were under the impression that Snap had moved on but that apparently isn’t the case.
Sources familiar with the matter tell Cheddar that Snap is currently manufacturing a second version of Spectacles for launch this fall. With the new eyewear, Snap will focus on performance improvements and bug fixes rather than major overhauls. The glasses will, however, be water resistant and offered in a variety of colors.
Perhaps even more surprising is news that Snap is working on a third, more ambitious version of Spectacles featuring a new design and dual cameras to allow for 3D-like depth effects. The company has reportedly prototyped a version out of aluminum that uses a more circular lens frame. They’ve even considered integrating GPS and including a leather carrying case to help offset the potential $300 price tag. By comparison, the current version of Spectacles retails for $129.99.
Snap has also considered partnering with third-parties to put its cameras on their glasses, sources said.
Like others, Snap believes augmented reality will play a key role in the evolution of personal computing. It explains why Snap is continuing to develop a product line that others would have probably already given up on.