Despite the fact that Snap Inc.'s Spectacles weren't the hit some were expecting, the company is nevertheless taking another swing at it by releasing an updated version.
On Thursday, April 26, Snap Inc. revealed a new version of Spectacles. No, the new version still doesn't do augmented reality (yet), but it does come with a couple of improvements that might make using a pair of glasses to take Snapchat photos and videos more enjoyable.
The new version is water-resistant, has a smaller profile in terms of fit (making the frame about one-third smaller, thanks to streamlined internal electronics), and features improved audio via dual microphones. Along with the new hardware functionality, the company claims that the device will also transfer your snaps to the Snapchat app up to "four times" faster than before (now a three-second transfer, up from the previous nine-second time lag).
In addition to the updated specifications, the new version of Spectacles will be offered in several new colors (onyx, ruby, and sapphire) and offer two lens shades for each color. The company has also partnered with Lensabl to provide prescription and polarized lenses to Spectacles buyers.
As for the previous reports, backed by founder Evan Spiegel himself, that sales of Spectacles version one weren't great, despite all the excitement around the device, the company addressed that as well.
"We anticipate being better able to predict demand this time around and will be managing orders from our suppliers with this knowledge," said a Snap Inc. spokesperson in a statement. "As one example, by only selling Spectacles through Spectacles.com we can more accurately measure demand. When we launched the first version, we were almost exclusively selling through Snapbots — this generated a lot of hype, but it was ultimately hard to measure actual demand accurately."
Sales of the original device reached just 220,000, which might be a win for a tiny company, but fell far short for a public company with the reach and influence of Snap Inc.
The $149.99 device is available immediately via Spectacles.com in the US, Canada, UK, and France, and will be available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Poland, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Italy on May 3.
Now, with the release of version two (and an AR version almost certainly coming down the line), we'll have another chance to see if Snapchat's wearable tech aspirations are on the mark or just an investment in a far-off future its current users can't quite see yet.