Model wearing blue Snap Spectacles
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Snapchat Spectacles to be sold in UK

Image credit: Snap Inc

A pair of sunglasses with embedded cameras to capture photos and video hands-free will be available online and in pop-up vending machines across Europe.

The product was designed by Snap Inc, which owns the highly popular social media platform, Snapchat. Spectacles is Snap’s first hardware product.

The glasses – available in blue, red-pink and black – can capture videos of up to 10 seconds, which are sent to the user’s Snapchat Memories folder via Bluetooth. The videos are recorded in an unconventional circular format, intended as a more realistic representation of what the user is experiencing, a “personal perspective”. Clips can be recorded by tapping a button on the left of the glasses.

Spectacles work exclusively with the Snapchat app.

Brightly coloured pop-up vending machines known as Snapbots will travel the UK and the rest of Europe to distribute the product. Snapbots will begin their tour in London (by the London Eye), Paris, Barcelona, Berlin and Venice, appearing in each location for just a day.

When Spectacles first went on sale in the US in November 2016, concerns were raised about the possible invasions of privacy they would allow, as the product allows photos and video to be captured hands-free and seemingly device-free. A circle of lights appear on the glasses during recording as a warning to bystanders.

Last year, Dr Shafi Ahmed, a teaching surgeon based in London, livestreamed a hernia repair operation hands-free using Spectacles.

Spectacles will be sold at £129.99.

Snapchat Spectacles infographic

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Image credit: Graphic News

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