Snap Is Trying Again With Spectacles; No More Vending Machines

(Bloomberg) -- Snap Inc. is introducing a new version of Spectacles, the colorful sunglasses that take videos for posting on its mobile app. And this time, the company is going to be smarter about predicting demand.

The previous version of Spectacles made its debut in November 2016 and was sold, at first, through cartoonish-looking vending machines in strategic locations. That produced a lot of hype and long lines, but not a lot of demand. Snap sold 220,000 pairs of the glasses, but ordered many more, and ended up taking a $39.9 million writedown and cutting some employees.

The company said it’s taking the business planning mistakes seriously, and will be better able to predict demand this time around by selling them online only, through Spectacles.com.

The new specs will be able to take photos -- not just videos -- and record higher-quality sound. The content will be transferable to a phone via Wi-Fi. The glasses will also come in a wider variety of colors, and are water-resistant, the company said Thursday.

Snap’s Spectacles will be available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and France starting April 26 and cost $150, including a charging case and cable, in the U.S. They’ll roll out in other countries on May 3.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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