Earlier this year Snapchat unveiled its Spectacles: augmented-reality glasses that could be used to record and share video. Now they’re going on sale, but not from regular shops or even online. Parent company Snap has developed a vending machine – the ‘Snapbot’ – that will be appearing in various locations for a day at a time, trailed on Snapchat’s website. The first was in Venice Beach, LA yesterday, with a long queue of people lining up to pay $129 for their specs. This device category didn’t get off to the best of starts with Google Glass, which was ultimately taken back to the drawing board by Google after a mixed critical reception. Snap is hoping to have more success with its Spectacles, although the retail rollout is very much limiting them to early adopters at the moment: rather than a mass-market product, this is almost more of a public R&D project, to find out how the people willing to queue up at a Snapbot go on to use the device.

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