Rumours that Snapchat (now Snap Inc) was moving into hardware were confirmed when it announced it is set to launch Spectacles, sunglasses with an integrated video camera that connect directly to the photo sharing app.
“We’ve created one of the smallest wireless video cameras in the world, capable of taking a day’s worth of Snaps on a single charge, and we integrated it seamlessly into a fun pair of sunglasses,” the company, valued at around $18 billion to $20 billion, said.
The device will be available “soon” in black, teal and coral for $130. It connects to Snapchat via Bluetooth or WiFi and transfers photos and videos to the app in a “circular video format” which “captures the human perspective with a 115 degree field of view ” and plays full screen on any device and in any orientation.
“Imagine one of your favorite memories. What if you could go back and see that memory the way you experienced it? That’s why we built Spectacles,” said Snap, which has raised more than $2 billion in venture capital.
As for renaming the company, co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel said that since the company is now developing other products, it needed a name that goes beyond just one product, “but doesn’t lose the familiarity and fun of our team and brand.”
He said the other reason was “when you search for our products it will be easier to find relevant product information rather than boring company information or financial analysis”.
In December 2014, Snap acquired wearable company Vergence Labs, which makes wearables similar to the ill-fated Google Glass, for $15 million.
About 150 million people use Snapchat daily, during which more than 10 billion videos are viewed, the firm said.