Snap, formerly Snapchat, is sparing no effort in marketing its first hardware, the imaging sunglasses called Spectacles. Spectacles is officially available starting November 10 and the way it is being made available may not be quite a spectacle, but it will surely draw some curious by-passers. Yes. We said “by-passers” because Spectacles, as it turns out, is not available online – the 21st century beings’ choice of procurement – instead, the hardware is being pushed out in a Minion-like vending machine call Bot. Duh. Ok, it is not quite a bot, bot. This vending machine won’t be strolling around. It will stay put in a certain location for a day before relocating to another location, and it will be like so for months until new retail distribution channels, if any, are announced.
The vending will be exactly as depicted in the somewhat dramatic introduction video – complete with a long huge eye that serves as a video screen and almost-too-cute balloons overhead. The gimmickry doesn’t stop at the unusual looking (and potentially copyright-infringing) vending machine; it actually has some tech loaded in it like, for example, a motion sensor that wakes up the bot as someone approaches it. The big eye, which is the display, and presumably a camera, will enable potential buyer to ‘try on’ the various colors of lens virtually. Basically, the machine is in itself a sale person of sort, albeit a non-human one, who will feed would-be buyers with information about Spectacles in an attempt to sell them a pair of this $130 video-recording eyewear.
If you ask me, I am skeptical how many Spectacles Snap can offload with these adorable vending machines. This is more likely a marketing campaign to generate publicity leading up to the sales through ‘actual’ channels, such as the ‘traditional’ online store, as well as brick-and-mortar stores. Anywho, according to Adweek, Snap will be deploying a few such vending machines in the United States, starting with Venice Beach. If you are interested, you can hit up Spectacles product page to seek out where the bots are currently located. You can catch the bot landing video below.
Image: screengrab from YouTube video.