Snap, Inc. isn’t giving up on its camera-equipped Spectacles glasses just yet.
The company is reportedly planning to release two new models this fall, according to a report from Cheddar.
The first new version of Spectacles is rumored to come with a single camera and focus on improving performance. They’re said to look very similar to the current Spectacles and will be offered in more colors.
The other new pair of Spectacles reportedly has two cameras — one on each side of the frames — and could cost around $300; current first-generation Spectacles sell for $130. This pair is described as made of aluminum and comes with a GPS inside. It’s camera optics are also reportedly capable of 3D “depth” (not to be confused with augmented reality).
Additionally, Snap, Inc. might also license its wearable camera technology to other eyewear makers such as Luxottica and Warby Parker, according to the report.
The new Spectacles are apparently so far along they’re already in the manufacturing phase.
Spectacles launched in 2016 to much fanfare. The company installed clever SnapBot pop-up vending machines in cities around the U.S. and excited Snapchat users seemed willing to wait hours to buy them.
When Mashable got a pair, I praised Spectacles for keeping things simple and focused on the spontaneous photo and video capturing experience, instead of trying to be a do-it-all face-worn computer like the ill-fated Google Glass.
Sadly, despite all the initial hype, Spectacles failed to catch on with users beyond the Snapchat diehard. Snap only managed to sell around 150,000 Spectacles and reportedly had warehouses filled with “hundreds of thousands” of unsold units.
As a result of Spectacle’s massive failure, Snap had to write off $40 million in losses related to the devices. The wearable’s failure doesn’t seem to have fazed Snap and CEO Evan Spiegel, though, as the new versions suggest company’s doubling down on hardware instead of abandoning it. Cheddar’s Alex Heath says Snap is planning to order “far less inventory” for the newer camera glasses.
In recent months, Snapchat’s taken quite a beating with its new redesign. Instagram Stories continues to slap Snapchat around and steal celebrities such as Kylie Jenner have all but left the ephemeral messaging app.
New Spectacles will no doubt jumpstart interest in the app and camera glasses, but will anyone really care enough this time around? My gut feeling is they’ll end up like the original Spectacles: cool for the first few days and then forgotten after that.