Snap unveils next generation Spectacles, taking another shot at wearable hardware

Snap unveils next generation Spectacles, taking another shot at wearable hardware

Snap's first attempt at Spectacles were rather an, uh, spectacular failure. The glasses are slimmer and lighter and the accompanying charging case is also considerably smaller. There's a second speaker for improved audio capture, and it can transfer high-definition photos and video to a phone four times faster than the V1, thanks to the upgraded Wi-Fi chip. The previous version of the wearable camera was only capable of recording videos.

Previously, Snap sold the glasses via vending machine.

It also said it wanted the Spectacles to let users "live in the moment" while they snapchatted their lives. They will be available in three colors, Onyx, Ruby, and Sapphire. They are a bit thinner than the first generation product, though. People will be able to get a pair when they want them, instead of hoping a Snapbot shows up in their area, or paying a scalper an outrageous markup on eBay. But excitement fizzled and demand turned out to be low.

Over the lifetime of the product, Snap sold just 220,000 units, the company says, eventually writing off unsold inventory worth nearly $40m. Snap told Quartz over email that it sold around 220,000 pairs of its first-generation glasses, and admitted that it had made planning mistakes that it intends to learn from. According to him, the company is aware that augmented reality had a low success rate in this day and age, and that there are a lot of hardware restrictions like the design, batteries, screens, etc.

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Snap Inc. operates as a camera company.The company has $17.84 billion market cap. And Snap has partnered with online prescription lens service Lensabl to ship Spectacles with prescription and polarized lenses to US shoppers, The Verge reports. The glasses also come equipped with two microphones to capture more natural sound.

Snapchat's infamous redesign, which caused an uproar among users, may not be here to stay after all - at least not in its complete form.

Snap has an interest in the augmented reality market, seen from the company's acquisition of AR startup Cimagine in 2016 and the production of AR filters for its social networking app.

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