Snap Inc. plans to launch a second version of its Spectacles glasses this year followed by a more ambitious third version equipped with two cameras in 2019, Cheddar has learned.
The second version of Spectacles is currently being manufactured with the goal of shipping by this fall, according to people familiar with the matter. Aside from being water resistant and available in new colors, the updated camera eyewear will focus on performance improvements and bug fixes rather than dramatic changes, said the people, who requested not to be named discussing confidential information.
Word of a new version of Spectacles comes only months after Snap announced that it had lost $40 million on its much-touted original product, selling only 150,000 pairs and leaving hundreds of thousands of glasses unsold.
But Snap won’t stop with version two of Spectacles. The company has also begun work on a more ambitious, third generation of Spectacles with a new design and two cameras, the people said. Snap has prototyped an aluminum design with more circular lens frames and two cameras that would allow for 3D-like depth effects in videos. Snap has additionally considered including a built-in GPS and a leather case, as well as a potential price tag of around $300, which would be more than double the current $130 cost for Spectacles.
Snap’s planned rollout of future Spectacles has already missed internal deadlines. The Snapchat-maker’s secretive hardware division, known internally as Snap Lab, has suffered multiple setbacks since Spectacles were launched to much fanfare in the fall of 2016. Advanced talks to acquire Chinese drone startup Zero Zero fell through during the summer of 2017. Shortly after, the division was hit with layoffs and a leadership shakeup. The newly-promoted VP of Hardware, Mark Randall, previously led Snap’s operations team, which was responsible for ordering the excess Spectacles inventory that sat unsold in warehouses last year.
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