Oh, Snap. Read that in a voice filled with pity and bewilderment to get the tone here, because the company behind Snapchat is apparently pushing more of its chips into the financial black hole that is its Spectacles. Yes, Snap Inc. is on tilt and has plans for not one, but two new pairs of its eyewear despite lukewarm interest for the first version of the product.
According to Cheddar, Snap is aiming to release the second generation of Spectacles this fall. There won’t be any groundbreaking features here — just some new colors, water resistance, performance improvements, and bug fixes.
Snap has loftier aspirations for its third-generation Spectacles, which will get a new design and a dual-camera setup, which will allow wearers to create videos with 3D-like depth effects. Built-in GPS and a leather case are also being considered. The price tag for this jazzed-up pair of camera glasses will be around $300, which makes the current version of $129.99 Spectacles look like a bargain — if you’re into this sort of thing. There are already plans for future versions of Spectacles to include augmented-reality capabilities.
Snap Lab, the company’s hardware division, has already missed internal deadlines. The third-gen Spectacles were supposed to ship in 2018, but they’re now pushed back to 2019.
In October, it was reported that Snap had several hundred thousand pairs of unsold or unassembled Spectacles sitting in warehouses. The cost of this excess inventory and order cancellations was $40 million, according to Snap’s third-quarter 2017 earnings. So yes, it’s just a tiny bit surprising that Snap is going full steam ahead on Spectacles.