Despite a big splash that had at least one arsehole waiting in line for five hours just for the opportunity to buy a pair, the original Snap Spectacles were a flop. Snap sold only about 150,000 pairs and was forced to write off $US40 ($52) million dollars in costs “related to Spectacles inventory”.
Photo: Snap Inc.
Many companies would, perhaps, reconsider releasing a second, barely different version if the company couldn’t even move the first version. But according to a new report from Cheddar, that is exactly what Snap plans to do.
Cheddar claims the new Spectacles will ship this fall, will be water resistant, and come in a larger variety of colours. Rather than focus on cool new features, the new glasses will apparently just fix bugs and improve performance. That could mean anything from improved responsiveness and low light performance to… shooting photos and sending them to Snapchat faster.
Cheddar does not make clear who the potential buyers of these new, slightly improved, camera glasses would be. The original only seemed to appeal to tech journalists and thirtysomethings trying to look cool to teenagers (the Venn diagram for those two groups is, admittedly, basically a circle).
What is slightly more interesting is Cheddar’s claim that a third pair of glasses is also in the works, and would be made of aluminium, come with a leather case, have GPS built in and feature two cameras, to better shoot 3D-like video. However those glasses, and other future glasses have, according to Cheddar, missed multiple internal deadlines at Snap.
Which makes sense. The company’s hardware division has supposedly been in disarray since a series of layoffs last summer that also saw the VP of Engineering, and de facto lead of the hardware division, Steve Horowitz, kicked off the hardware team and replaced with the former VP of Operations, Mark Randall.
The company itself has also had some struggles. In January a memo seemed to indicate Snap would try to toss employees who leaked information into gaol.
Just last month a minor redesign led to over a million users throwing a hissy fit, and Kylie Jenner’s disappointment in the redesign seemed to result in a stock price tumble to the tune of about 1.3 billion dollars.
Snap’s got some issues, and a barely redesigned pair of glasses that previously failed to take off will probably not fix the problem.