What it's like to buy Snapchat's new Spectacles

Snapchat knows how to make a splash, and it proved it on Thursday with the debut of its camera-equipped Spectacles sunglasses.

A smiling, yellow vending machine with balloons strapped to the top appeared unexpectedly in Venice Beach on Thursday morning, and crowds of people quickly queued up to buy the limited-edition $130 glasses. 

Snap Inc, the new corporate name that Snapchat recently adopted, paid lots of attention to the details for its first consumer electronics product. From the futuristic vending machine, which the company has already restocked with extra inventory, to the packaging of the glasses, the experience of buying Spectacles is clearly meant to be fun and different. 

Here’s what it’s like to pick up a pair of Spectacles in person:

Snap will be selling its Spectacles through special pop-up vending machines called 'Snapbots', which look a lot like the yellow 'minions'.

Snap Inc

The company will be updating a map online about 24 hours in advance so you can see where the next Spectacles-dispensing Snapbot will be.

Snap Inc

The first-ever Snapbot landed in Venice beach on Thursday morning. The bright yellow machine with balloons attached is sitting in a parking lot across the street from Snapchat's first office, right on Venice beach.

The machine is designed so that it 'wakes up' and opens its eye as people pass by. The fact that it looks like a smiling face makes it look like you're buying a toy, not a computer strapped to some glasses. It's an entirely different feel than buying Google Glass.

The big eye uses the same face lens technology that's in the app to give you a preview of what you'd look like with the glasses. Each button is colour-coded to the three styles they have: black, coral, and teal.

If you don't want to have to choose it in the moment, there's a special Snapcode you can scan to unlock a filter in your app for 24 hours.

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Find the Snapcode here

Once you choose your colour, you have to pay $130 with your credit card, then the machine's mouth opens up to reveal your new Spectacles.

The Spectacles come in a cylindrical, tennis-ball like package with a photo of the Spectacles on the outside.

Inside the box is the case for the Spectacles, a charging cord, a quick startup guide, and a cloth to keep the lenses clean. The Spectacles come out of the machine already charged though so you don't need to plug them in right away.

Snap Inc paid attention to the details. Even the cleaning cloth is shaped like a ghost!

People are going crazy for them already, so the line is long. Snap Inc has to cover the machine with a white cloth like magic to restock it to keep up. Since it's only the first day, we'll see how long it takes before it totally sells out.

The hardest part about buying will just be finding a Snapbot before it sells out. Happy hunting!

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