It’s unclear whether Snap is pricing its glasses to be profitable, or to spur interest—the company wasn’t immediately available to comment on its plans. The company will only be releasing a small number of Spectacles at first, a move that some suspect (paywall) will fan the flames of demand, although it could well just be to figure out whether it can deliver a hardware product. “It’s a high-risk product,” Dawson added, “it’s not like developing an app where each incremental user is free.”

Spectacles will be Snap’s first foray into hardware, a difficult world to inhabit. When there’s a bug in software, you sprint to fix it and release an update as quickly as possible—when there’s a defect in a product, you have to recall it. Inventory needs to be managed; supply chains will need to be set up. Customer service channels will need to be implemented.

There’s no guarantee that these devices will be a hit, but Snap has set up Spectacles for success. Snapchat is immensely popular, with over 150 million people using the app every day, including taste-making celebrities, just about every brand and media outlet, in spite of exceedingly awkward PR gaffes the company keeps creating. Rather like the Pokémon Go craze of this summer, Spectacles infuses technology with something people want (in Nintendo’s case, it was nostalgia; here it’s fashion), rather than forcing technology onto somewhere it doesn’t belong, like Google Glass.

Spectacles’ technology may not be all that revolutionary—it’s just a GoPro on your face—but at the price Snap has set, it’s accessible. Even Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has referred to them (paywall) as a “toy,” possibly to temper expectations on what these glasses will be able to do.

Still, many see these glasses as the first step in bringing augmented-reality into the mainstream. “I think Snapchat is pushing the edges of what the camera is,” Josh Elman, a partner at the venture capital firm Greylock Partners, told CNBC this week. “I think their brand is so strong with people in their early 20s that they might sell a lot more of these than anybody is predicting. They’re positioning it as this fun toy for people to engage with, not something that you need to think about as your next big technology investment.”

Future versions of Spectacles, if they prove to be a success, could turn your coworker into a dog, but also remind you that you have a meeting soon and show you the quickest way to the coffee shop you’re supposed to be at in five minutes. And provide a powerful platform for advertising. Brands would have captive eyeballs—literally—that few other devices or platforms could provide.

If the glasses flop, at a price point of $130, Spiegel and his team have already positioned them as just a bit of fun, and the company can move on to other ideas on how to monetize its growing audience.

Either way, it seems like a win for Snap.

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