Snapchat Changes Name, Reveals Smart Glasses

Popular social media messaging app Snapchat is ready to pick up where the failed Google Glass left off. The company has changed its name to Snap and also announced the launch of Spectacles, candy-colored connected sunglasses that let wearers record short videos from their own perspective and post them to Snapchat.

Expected to be available in limited quantities sometime this fall, the smart glasses will cost $130, come in one size and be available in three colors: coral, teal and black. The glasses incorporate a 115-degree lens camera, meant to approximate how humans see. To record video, the user simply taps a button on the top left-hand corner of the sunglasses. The spectacles will automatically stop recording after 10 seconds, but wearers can tap again to add another 10 seconds, for up to 30 seconds of video. Videos can be transferred to the user’s phone via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Battery life will be about one day, and Spectacles will come with a dedicated charging case and cable. According to the company, the fully charged case can recharge Spectacles up to four times.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel told the Wall Street Journal that he views Spectacles as a toy that can be used “for kicks at a barbecue and outdoor concert.” He adds: “It’s about us figuring out if it fits into people’s lives and seeing how they like it.”

It remains to be seen whether Spectacles will be a hit. “I think their brand is so strong with people in their early 20s that they might sell a lot more of these than anybody is predicting,” Josh Elman, partner at venture capital firm Greylock Partners told CNBC.

Right now, more than 100 million people use Snapchat every day, with the majority of users under 35. Market research firm eMarketer recently estimated that Snap’s ad revenue could grow to almost $1 billion in 2017.