(Bloomberg) —Snapchat says it will release a wearable gadget called Spectacles, which resembles a pair of sunglasses with a built-in camera for shooting video.
A limited supply of the product will be sold this fall for $129.99, a spokeswoman said. The company could not be reached for comment on whether it plans to sell Spectacles online.
Spectacles will come in one size and three colors. The wearer can tap a button near the hinge to record video of up to 10 seconds using the wide-angle lens on the glasses.
The product represents the first foray into consumer electronics for the startup behind the popular messaging app. The wearables market, which includes smartwatches, fitness trackers, wearable cameras and virtual reality headsets, like Facebook Inc.’s Oculus Rift 3-D gaming headset, is growing quickly. A recent forecast by industry analyst firm CCS Insight suggests the market will grow to 245 million units in 2019 from 84 million units in 2015.
Snapchat, a Los Angeles-based company valued at $18 billion by investors this year, said it will change its name to Snap Inc., reflecting its larger ambitions.
Snap said Spectacles captures video in a new circular format that can be viewed full screen, whether holding a phone upright or on its side. The device transmits the recordings wirelessly to a smartphone. It is similar in some ways to Google Glass, a widely mocked wearable device from Alphabet Inc.
Evan Spiegel, the chief executive and co-founder of Snap, has been testing a prototype of the glasses since at least early 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal. Snap posted a promotional video for Spectacles on YouTube.
Snapchat this week said it has more than 60 million daily active users in the U.S. and Canada—about a third of what Facebook Inc. has in the world’s most lucrative advertising market.
Snap’s chief strategy officer, Imran Khan, touted the number on stage at Advertising Week in New York, where he was working to convince marketers about the value of the Los Angeles-based company’s video ads and geofilters. The 60 million compares with Facebook’s 175 million daily active users in the region. Twitter, which doesn’t report a daily active user base, has 66 million monthly users in the U.S.—a number that has been relatively unchanged for six quarters.
The advertising market in the U.S. and Canada has driven the bulk of sales at Facebook and Twitter, and will likely do so for Snapchat too. Facebook’s average revenue per user is $12.43 in that market, compared with a $3.32 global average, for example. Khan emphasized that Snapchat’s ads are full-screen vertical videos that play with their sound on once people click on them, unlike Facebook’s which autoplay on silent. Closely held Snap is building out its business model ahead of an eventual initial public offering.Favorite