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Snapchat's Video Spectacles on Sale via 'Snapbot' Vending Machines

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Snapchat's video-recording Spectacles became available to buy in the U.S. on Thursday, not online or in stores, but from pop-up vending machines.

Called 'Snapbots', the giant vending machines will dispense the Spectacles in either Black, Coral or Teal, and allow customers to try them on virtually using a built-in augmented reality display.


For those unfamiliar with Snapchat's first hardware product, the $129 Spectacles are a one-size-fits-all pair of sunglasses that can record 10 seconds of video at a time and sync wirelessly with the mobile Snapchat app, which was updated on Tuesday.

According to Recode, Snapchat plans to deposit the machines "soon" throughout the U.S., with the first machine appearing in Venice Beach, California. Reminiscent of Snapchat, the machines will only remain in one location for a day before being removed. The company said it will announce new Snapbot locations 24 hours before they appear, via the "Find a Bot" map on the Spectacles website.

Upon discovering a bot, customers press one of the large circular buttons to 'try on' their chosen color of sunglasses, after which they must insert a debit or credit card to purchase. About 10 seconds passes as the transaction is processed, before the Bot's mouth lights up and the spectacles are dispensed along with a receipt.

Snapchat, now dubbed Snap, has been developing the Spectacles for years and considers them "a toy" best used at concerts and outdoor events. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said the limited-distribution product was made "because it's fun" and the company wants people to figure out if the glasses fit into their lives.

Article Link: Snapchat's Video Spectacles on Sale via 'Snapbot' Vending Machines
 

ck2875

macrumors 6502a
Mar 25, 2009
997
2,596
Brighton
This is actually a brilliant way to create demand for a product not many people would want otherwise-- Make it about exclusivity through random chance of finding a box nearby, impulse purchases out of fear of missing out, and being the 'cool kid' who has something others don't. I'm not saying that placing value on those ideals makes us better as a society, but that's how the world seems to work.
 

dwaltwhit

macrumors 6502a
Oct 25, 2013
647
991
Tennessee
$129 might be a good price for the technology, but I would be curious to see how many people pony up; a thing is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it.

This approach is pretty smart because it is low risk. If they don't sell, they haven't necessarily tied up alot of back stock, they haven't had to establish distribution in the traditional sense, and they can take it all down if it flops. They are trying something new and taking a risk with it; a calculated risk, but a risk nonetheless.
 

riverfreak

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2005
1,442
1,651
Over the Reignbough
Absolutely brilliant marketing and distribution. And fun to boot.

The more I read about Snap and their CEO, the more respect I have, from location of offices outside SV, to developing a fun product that looks to all extents like a Trojan horse to other markets, to marketing like this. Doing something and having fun. Good for them.
 
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GeneralChang

macrumors 68000
Dec 2, 2013
1,546
1,213
That is... weird. Like, just a really weird way to distribute products in this day and age. And I'm betting a few dozen companies are wishing they'd thought of it first.
 

apb89

macrumors regular
Aug 25, 2012
149
30
Weird and original. I love it personally. Snap, Inc. is here to stay. Has more engagement and growth than any of the big social apps. 'Normal' people I speak to always ask me what the deal is with Snapchat is/they don't see the point of it. I realized the best answer:

Baggage. Or lack there of.

Our lives are already bogged down with a ton of crap we do not really want, deep down. With snapchat everything is temporary yet powerful. It is all fleeting like life itself. Information that does not warrant space in your life is already gone before you are even able to fully react and feel the effects of what you just viewed.

This is what makes Snapchat awesome: you experience awesomeness without the baggage to hold you down.
 

Googlyhead

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2010
429
221
This is actually a brilliant way to create demand for a product not many people would want otherwise-- Make it about exclusivity through random chance of finding a box nearby, impulse purchases out of fear of missing out, and being the 'cool kid' who has something others don't. I'm not saying that placing value on those ideals makes us better as a society, but that's how the world seems to work.
How the world seems to work is that an eBay scalper gets information on the location of such an outlet, and recruits a few non-career individuals to empty the machine for resale at 100% markup.
There's also the possible extra profit opportunity through trying out a few of those card numbers recently acquired.
 
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