Snapchat branches into hardware with Spectacles and a name change

Social media app Snapchat is introducing video-recording glasses called Spectacles and is changing its company name to incorporate the new product.

The glasses can record 10 second of video at a time by tapping a button on the device. The video is then uploaded to the popular image-messaging app through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The glasses are the first hardware from the Los Angeles company.

The glasses record so-called “circular video,” meaning it plays full-screen on any device in any orientation.

They will be available in the United States in the fall on a limited basis and cost US$130.

In a way, the Spectacles recall Google’s venture into eyewear, Google Glass, which took photos and video. But that device also had a screen that let you surf the web as well and cost $1,500.

Google shuttered that venture early last year after it received a tepid response from users.

The company says it is changing its name to Snap Inc, since it now has more than one product. The app will retain the name Snapchat.

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