By Paresh Dave
Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Like video stories on the Snapchat app that can be accessed for only 24 hours, a Snapbot vending machine which will sell Snapchat’s new video spectacles will stand in the same spot for only about a day. People will be clued in to new locations through a map on Spectacles.com, geofilter stickers that will appear in the app and balloons on top of the vending machine.
People lined up Thursday morning near the Venice boardwalk in Los Angeles to be among the first to buy Snapchat Spectacles.
The $130 video-camera sunglasses are being sold through big yellow automated vending machines. Tapping a button near the left hinge of the Spectacles activates a camera in the corner of the left lens. It takes circular-cropped videos of up to 30 seconds each. The clips can be transferred wirelessly to the Snapchat smartphone app, where they can be shared with friends.
It’s not clear whether Spectacles will be coveted among Snapchat’s hundreds of millions of users worldwide (a pair listed on EBay had doubled in price by early morning Thursday). It’s the company’s first piece of high-tech hardware, but the many software features Snapchat has released over the last five years, including photo effects and filters, have become popular enough that rivals such as Facebook are emulating them.
Snapchat developer Snap Inc. has tried to distance itself from such social media companies by describing itself as a camera company. And the young company has never been one to turn to traditional strategies. That’s now extending to retail.
Like video stories on the Snapchat app that can be accessed for only 24 hours, a Snapbot vending machine will stand in the same spot for only about a day, the company said. Venice, the Los Angeles neighborhood where Snapchat developer Snap Inc. has headquarters, is the first stop.