Snap’s Bringing Spectacles Back Despite Weak Sales of the Original

November 20, 2018, 6:14 PM UTC

Snap Spectacles didn’t quite work out like Snap Inc. planned. While the company initially said the camera-equipped sunglasses beat sales goals, later reports said thousands of pairs sat gathering dust on warehouse shelves, as Snap had wildly overestimated demand.

That’s apparently not stopping it from trying again. Cheddar reports Snap Inc. plans to release a new version of the Spectacles glasses with two cameras by the end of the year. The new glasses, said to be codenamed Newport, will sell for $350, more than twice what the original version cost.

That extra camera, though, will bring an augmented reality layer onto the glasses, adding 3-D-like photo effects to footage taken by the glasses. The new version will also be a bit more fashion forward than the originals, with frames made of aluminum instead of plastic.

The report of the upgraded glasses comes just two months after Snap introduced another line of eyewear at New York Fashion Week. The company reportedly ordered a much lower number of those this round to avoid the significant write-off it had to take with the original Spectacles.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel is eager to position Snap as more than just a social media company. He has talked publicly about wanting to create eyewear technology that overlays objects in the real world with virtual ones. Investors, though, have been less enthusiastic about that vision. Year to date, the stock is down nearly 70%.