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Brief Published: 24 Nov 2016

Snapchat’s Stealthy Vending Machine Sells Social Media Specs


Fuelling the hype surrounding the launch of its limited edition smart glasses, Snapchat has played on its own blink-and-you’ll-miss-it USP with a series of aptly unannounced, unattended, one-day-only vending machines in California.

The Spectacles’ in-built camera shoots 10-second eye-level videos, which automatically save to a section of the app called Snapchat Memories. These upload directly to the wearer’s Snapchat profile by simply tapping a button on the Spectacles’ frame. Users only need to have synchronised their glasses to the app beforehand by scanning their individual ghost icon (their unique ID) with the Spectacles, connecting the two devices wirelessly.

The unmissable bright yellow vending machines, aka Snapbots, feature motion sensors that react only as people approach – retaining their relative mystery – and a large circular digital display, conceived to look like an eye, that plays explanatory video footage. Additionally, a series of buttons initiates an on-screen augmented reality experience designed to echo Snapchat lenses – quirky animations users overlay onto selfies. Users can select a colour, then view their chosen sunglasses overlaid onto their faces.

The glasses, which cost $130, can be bought via credit/debit card and are dispensed via the Snapbot’s ‘mouth’.

Currently the only way to buy the glasses, the whimsical vending machines are scheduled to pop up across more, as-yet-undisclosed US locations in the next month. Fans will be offered clues as to where and when via a microsite.

See also Ephemeral Fervour in Pop-Ups Evolve: Tech & Social Media and Snapchat Filters Spur Store Visits.