Once merely a dependable outpost for chocolate bars and drinks, vending machines now dispense anything from gourmet food to quinoa to short stories, and now, video-recording sunglasses. Snapchat Spectacles take circular video in ten second bursts and, after pairing with a user’s Snapchat account, automatically upload for easy sharing on the social media platform.
The Spectacles are currently sold exclusively by “Snapbot” vending machines, designed with a sleek shape and anthropomorphic features by the same team who created the glasses. Customers can step in front of the Cyclops eye on the machine and virtually try on Specs in each colour — black, coral, and teal — before purchasing, and afterwards grab the glasses from its mouth.
Snapbots will land in surprise locations around the United States, with the first appearance in Venice Beach, California near Snapchat headquarters. A 24-hour countdown reveals the next location, which will include places users are inspired to capture memories, the company said in a statement. The latest location, announced on Sunday morning, is Loma Vista near Northern California’s Big Sur State Park.
The glasses will come fully charged to take about 100 ten-second videos, and they recharge in their case. (The case holds four charges.) While the glasses are always on, a press of the button starts recording, which will illuminate a small ring on the front — a handy feature that will avoid any confusion from onlookers about what’s being recorded. Press and hold the button for two seconds to stop recording. Spectacles cost $129.99 (£103 stg) plus tax and for now are only available via pop-up Snapbot vending machines. Stay tuned for the next location.