Want Snapchat's Spectacles? Talk to the Machine

Editors' Note: This story has been updated with information regarding the Spectacles store in New York City.

Perhaps when you first heard about Spectacles, the video-capturing eyewear from Snapchat, you couldn't wait to get your hands on the $129 glasses. Well, Spectacles have gone on sale, and it looks like you're going to have to wait until you get your hands on the glasses — at least until one of Snapchat's friendly vending machines rolls into your town for 24 hours. Unless, that is, you live in New York City, where Spectacles are sold at a pop-up store open through New Year's Eve.

One of the Spectacle-dispensing SnapbotsOne of the Spectacle-dispensing SnapbotsNone of what you just read is nonsense. This is how Snapchat plans to make Spectacles available.

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Specifically, the company — which recently changed its name to Snap — isn't offering its $129 glasses through traditional outlets like stores or online retailers. Instead, you'll need to find a vending machine that's called a Snapbot.

To do, that you'll have to head to the Spectacles home page and click the Find A Bot link. Presumably, that will take you to a map showing you where Spectacles-dispensing Snapbots can be found, though as of this writing, the page just features an animation of a sleeping Snapbot. Snap says Snapbots will pop up on the map 24 hours before they arrive at a location.

Those who live in New York City have an advantage on the rest of the world, as they can find two Snapbots at a popup store on 5 East 59th Street. The location is open Monday through Friday from 4pm to 10 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 8am to 10pm. The store will be closed on Dec. 24 and 25 and its last day of sales will be New Year's Eve (Dec. 31)

To manage lines and expectations, the NYC store is issuing wristbands that guarantee entry during store hours. Wristbands are handed out starting at 7am each day the store is open.  

Should you find a Snapbot in the wild — it's like one of the Minions from Despicable Me took on vending machine form — you can press any one of the machines circular buttons to virtually try out a pair of Spectacles in black, coral or teal. Pick the color you want, insert your credit card and a pair of camera-equipped glasses will soon be yours.

You don't necessarily have to find a Snapbot to get a sense of what Spectacles look like on your face. The Snapchat app now features a filter that places a pair of virtual spectacles on your face.

Snap took the wraps off Spectacles back in September. The glasses come equipped with a camera attached to the lens, which you tap to start recording 10-second bursts of video. A light attached to the other lens shows people that you're recording.

The finished video appears in a circular frame — the idea is that Spectacles videos recreate the perspective had when capturing the moment. You can video to the Snapchat app using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Spectacles come with their own case which doubles as a charger.

Pop-up vending machines may help give Spectacles some buzz, but they also suggest Snap may not have a whole lot of the glasses to sell. Recode reports that sources around Snap think the company will only sell "a few thousand" glasses in 2016.

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