Snapchat – now known as Snap Inc. – came out with its camera-embedded sunglasses called Spectacles recently and its technology definitely beat the tar and quite feathered Google Glasses that were a total failure. But if you think the new Snap Spectacles Sunglasses is a runaway splash, wait until you see how Snap Inc. debuts its sunglasses, an experience that is both spectacular and fun. On Thursday morning at Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California (incidentally at a parking lot just across the street from the headquarters of Snap Inc.), Snap Spectacles made its debut from a smiling vending machine with balloons strapped to the top that was unexpectedly placed there in the morning. Crowds quickly queued up to buy the glasses which is a limited edition and costs $130. Snap Inc. really knew how to make a spectacular entrance with its first consumer electronics product.
The experience of buying the sunglasses was really fun starting with the futuristic vending machine (which only accepts credit cards, by the way) to the actual packaging of the glasses. After just more than an hour the vending machine ran out, but Snap is already restocking for another round of sales. The special pop-up vending machines actually look like yellow “minions” and is called a Snapbot. Aside from the Snapbot on Venice Beach, the company will also update an online map on its website every 24 hours in advance so people can see where the next Snapbot will be located. The Snapbot is programmed to “wake up” and opens its eyes if a person is in front of the machine or passing by. People took note that the machine looks like a toy vending machine so it feels like you’re buying a toy rather than camera-technology sunglasses. Too bad Google didn’t think of this for its glasses.
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The Snapbot’s big eye contains face lens technology that’s also in its app to give you a preview of what you would look like with a specific colored sunglass since they come in three colors, black, coral, and teal. Once you choose what color you like, you need to insert your credit card in a slot, and the machine’s mouth opens to reveal your new Spectacle glasses. The Spectacles are beautifully packaged in a cylindrical package similar to the cases used for tennis balls or badminton shuttlecocks. There is a photo of your choice of Spectacles on the outside. Inside the package is the yellow case for the Spectacles, a charging cord, a quick startup guide, and a cloth to keep the lens clean. The glasses are already pre-charged so they can be used immediately after being taken out without first charging it. Snap Inc. also pays attention to certain fun details such as the cleaning cloth that is shaped like a ghost, Snapchat’s official logo. Snap Spectacles allow people to snap 10-second clips from the camera-equipped sunglasses. The video is then wirelessly uploaded to the Snapchat app on the user’s phone.