Snap Spectacles are dead, long live Snap Spectacles. In a recent call with investors, Snap says it didn't plan to "annualize" the failed glasses, pretty much killing all hope of Spectacles living on until the future.
Or, maybe not. Cheddar is reporting that Snap is planning on releasing a new pair of Spectacles this year, and that it's further planning a more ambitious third pair in 2019. This year's model will add water resistance and new colors, and is currently being manufactured for a release in the fall, claims Cheddar.
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Next year's model is reportedly more ambitious, coming with a brand new design that's reminiscent of the round-framed glasses a lot of Snapchat face filters use. That pair would also come with two cameras, which would be used to add a 3D depth effect to video taken with Spectacles. You can see an artist's rendering of what they look like below.
Snap is also in talks with eyewear companies Luxottica and Warby Parker, offering its cameras to them to put in their own pairs of glasses. This lines up with what Matt Miesnieks, managing partner at Super Ventures, told us last year: the company is looking at partnerships to extend its reach in the hardware space.
So, why is Snap continuing to make Spectacles even though the first batch was a failure, leaving the company with hundreds of thousands of Specs laying around a warehouse and a $40 million write down? CEO Evan Spiegel apparently believes it can be an important product line for the company, so Snap is going to keep at it until it gets it right.
Spiegel sees augmented reality as the next big computing platform, and he wants Snap properly placed to ride that wave with smartglasses. While Cheddar reports that Snap's AR efforts are still a couple years down the road, it does have patents for glasses with two cameras that can learn a user's position. Connecting the dots, you can see how it's laying down the foundation for AR glasses in incremental steps.
And what will keep these new pairs of Spectacles from also being a flop? They'll reportedly be manufactured in even smaller quantities. It's unclear what new software features the new Spectacles will have, but we hope that this time we'll also be able to take photos too, and easily share our masterpieces on platforms beyond Snapchat.
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