Snapchat’s Sunglass Camera Poses Challenges

Snapchat’s unveiling of camera-equipped sunglasses thrusts the messaging app maker into the cutthroat hardware business, a risky move that reflects its strength in video, but follows a shaky record by internet giants.On Friday, the Venice, Calif., startup revealed Spectacles, a $130 pair of stylish sunglasses outfitted with a camera that with a tap of a button near the hinge can record up to 10 seconds of video at a time.

The one-size-fits-all glasses, which come in black, teal or coral and will be available this fall in limited quantities, are designed to connect to a smartphone so SnapChat users can easily share videos through the app.The company also changed its corporate name to Snap Inc. to characterize its ambitions beyond the messaging app that has made it so popular, particularly among teens and millennials.

About 150 million people use Snapchat daily during which more than 10 billion videos are viewed, according to the company.Snapchat’s domination with younger audiences has helped the company earn an $18 billion valuation from investors, garner buzz among big-brand advertisers such as PepsiCo Inc., and strike partnerships with media companies such as BuzzFeed Inc. and The Wall Street Journal.


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