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Snap Introduces New $150 Spectacles, Adds Prescription Lens Option

Snap introduced an updated version of its Spectacles  glasses Thursday, complete with a smaller frame that’s supposed to be more comfortable to wear. V2 of the wearable also comes with improved wireless networking for faster file transfers as well as an option to add prescription and polarized lenses.

The basic idea behind Spectacles is still the same: The glasses feature an integrated video camera, capable of recording round clips of up to 30 seconds in length, which can then be imported into and shared via Snapchat.

With the second version, Spectacles also gain the ability to record photos. Users can record up to 70 videos, or 3 to 4 times as many photos, with a single charge. Altogether, Spectacles can store up to 150 videos, or 3000 photos. All videos are now recorded in HD, which is offloaded up to four times faster, compared to the previous version.

The new Spectacles are available in three colors, onyx, ruby, and sapphire, and two shades of lenses for each color. The device is now water-resistant, and ships with a charging case, which was previously sold separately for $50. However, adding the charging case to the core product also brought up the price a bit: Spectacles now cost $149.99, which is $20 more than before.

The new models are available online in the U.S., UK, Canada and France effective immediately, and will come to additional European countries next week. There’s no word on retail availability yet.

Snap’s revamped Spectacles aren’t exactly a huge surprise. Cheddar reported in March that the company was working on a new version of its wearable, and in April, the device made an appearance in FCC filings.

The reason for this relatively minor revamp is less clear. Spectacles didn’t sell well when the company first introduced them, with executives recently admitting that they had severely overestimated demand for the product. This resulted in a $40 million write-down for unsold inventory.

A Snap spokesperson told Variety that the continued commitment to the product was a bet on the future of mobile cameras, which was poised to evolve alongside new technologies like augmented reality. As such, Spectacles aren’t just a product for users to have fun with, but also a way for the company to prepare for future camera form factors and use cases, she said.

 

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