Snap Inc is back at it with another line of new Spectacles eyewear to pair with ephemeral messaging app Snapchat. This time, the tech brand is directly eyeing the fashion industry, dropping the new frames in time for New York Fashion Week, which kicked off on Thursday.
Bestowed with human names (similar to how many fashion brands name individual pieces of clothing like shirts and dresses after first names), Snap’s new “Nico” and “Veronica” lenses both come in black with polarized lenses, sporting hands-free cameras that can capture up to 70 videos or hundreds of photos on a single charge. Photos are transferred to the Snapchat app on smartphones wirelessly.
And similar to the Spectacles edition that debuted ahead of summer earlier this year, both sets of frames are water-resistant.
Snap (SNAP) clearly wants the fashion set to pick up on Spectacles this week, and it’s highly likely the frames will pop up on the social media feeds of fashion editors, models, front row celebrities, and influencers over the next week. But beyond that, it’s questionable if “high-fashion” Spectacles will be anything more than a spectacle themselves. After all, Google famously brought its first set of connected eyewear—Google Glass—to a Diane Von Furstenberg show at New York Fashion Week in 2013 with high hopes of making the frames popular.
Suffice to say, that didn’t happen. Not only was Glass a perpetual prototype with a price tag on par with (small) Louis Vuitton bags, but Glass has since become the unofficial sartorial symbol for what not to wear if you want to be fashionable. (Incredibly, Google Glass made a small appearance on Capitol Hill this week in a wild photo involving Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and a journalist wearing a 1980s Casio Watch.)
Regardless, Snap seems determined to make Spectacles happen. Since the wearables debuted ahead of the company’s IPO in 2017, Spectacles have always focused more on the cool factor than the tech hardware, subscribing more to a Warby Parker-aesthetic than anything we’ve seen out of Silicon Valley thus far.
Spectacles have also always been more reasonably priced for a wider market, starting at $149.99. While Snap hasn’t gone around boasting incredible sales figures for Spectacles—believe us, if they were selling that well, we’d all know—at a lower price point with more models coming out each year, Spectacles could last much longer than the photos they are intended to snap.
Finally, a new feature could make Spectacles usage all the more worthwhile. Snap plans to add a new Snapchat feature later this fall, which will automatically curate Spectacles Snaps into a single Snapchat Story. Suffice to say, that could save users—and yes, influencers and other brands who base their businesses on social media—a lot of time and grunt work. It would also be something that Instagram couldn’t replicate—at least not right away unless Instagram releases some sort of wearable tech or headwear of its own.
Nico and Veronica Spectacles are now available, retailing for $199.99, in select countries worldwide.