Snapchat has released sunglasses with a camera

Snap's Spectacles, as seen on a promotional video found on YouTube
Snap’s Spectacles, as seen on a promotional video found on YouTube

Messaging app firm Snapchat has announced its first gadget – sunglasses with a built-in camera.

The device, which the company is calling Spectacles, will go on sale later this year priced at $130 (£100).

The glasses will record up to 30 seconds of video at at time.
As part of the announcement, Snapchat is renaming itself to Snap, Inc.

The renaming decision underlined the company’s apparent ambition to go beyond the ephemeral messaging app, a product which is highly popular with young people.

An article published by the Wall Street Journal on Friday showed Snap’s 26-year-old creator Evan Spiegel in a series of pictures taken by fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld.

In an interview, Mr Spiegel explained his rationale for creating Spectacles.

“It was our first vacation, and we went to [Californian state park] Big Sur for a day or two. We were walking through the woods, stepping over logs, looking up at the beautiful trees.

“And when I got the footage back and watched it, I could see my own memory, through my own eyes – it was unbelievable.

“It’s one thing to see images of an experience you had, but it’s another thing to have an experience of the experience. It was the closest I’d ever come to feeling like I was there again.”

On Saturday, Snap released some limited information about how the glasses will work.

Footage will be recorded in a new, circular format which can be viewed in any orientation, the company said. The battery on the device will last around a day.

A light on the front of the device will indicate to people nearby when the glasses are recording.

Prior to confirmation from Snap about the product, news website Business Insider published a promotional video it found on YouTube showing the product. The video has since been taken down.

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