Snapchat’s Spectacles are here—and you have to buy them from a vending machine

The future of retail?
The future of retail?
Image: Snap
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When was the last time you bought anything bigger than a soda or a sandwich from a vending machine?

Chances are, unless you’ve been really desperate at an airport with a Best Buy electronics vending machine, you probably haven’t bought a piece of technology from a vending machine. But Snap, the recently formed parent company of Snapchat, thinks you might now. It announced today that it will sell its video-recording glasses, called Spectacles, from vending machines that it’s calling Snapbots. The machines, which bear more than a passing resemblance to some rather annoying cartoon characters, will sporadically appear on a map on Spectacles’ website, which potential customers will then presumably have to run to if they want to snap a pair before the machines run out.

The first location is on the beach in Venice, California, near Snap’s headquarters. The location will change over time.

The company wasn’t immediately available to comment on whether it would release more than one machine at a time, or whether the machines would pop up in locations outside of Orange County. The company did say in a release, however, that the machines would be found in locations where you’d want to snap videos, so perhaps they’ll soon appear in other scenic locations soon. It also isn’t entirely clear from the promotional video how exactly you pay for the $130 glasses, but it appears the machines have a credit card slot.

Snap added in its release that you can try on every color of the glasses virtually while you’re at the machine. If you’re not in Southern California right now, you can head to Spectacles’ website and scan the QR code in the bottom-right corner of the page to virtually try on a pair in the Snapchat app. Snap said the glasses will come fully charged, so you can start recording videos as soon as you pick up a pair.

The glasses will be able to pair with iPhones newer than the iPhone 5, running iOS 8 or higher, and Android phones running Android 4.3 or higher that support Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. But according to Snap’s site, the glasses may have trouble pairing with Apple’s second-newest phone, the iPhone SE.