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Snapchat changed its name to Snap, and is going to sell $130 video-sharing sunglasses this fall

Evan Spiegel takes a stab at hardware.

Snap promotional video, captured via Business Insider
Peter Kafka covers media and technology, and their intersection, at Vox. Many of his stories can be found in his Kafka on Media newsletter, and he also hosts the Recode Media podcast.

Snapchat is changing its name to Snap and expanding its horizons beyond its core messaging app.

The first step will be Spectacles — video-sharing sunglasses the company will start selling for $130 this fall.

Snapchat — sorry, Snap — has always been an unusual company, and this rollout follows in that tradition: It comes via a feature story in the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ magazine, and includes photographs of CEO Evan Spiegel taken by fashion legend Karl Lagerfeld.

The story’s release may have been rushed after Business Insider found what appears to be a promotional video for Spectacles on YouTube, and published a story about the clip on Friday night.

Here’s what you need to know about Spectacles:

  • The glasses record video in 10-second bursts when you tap a button on the side.
  • The glasses’ camera uses a wide-angle lens that records circular video, which Spiegel says is meant to reflect human vision. The gadget is intended to sync with a phone, so you can share the pictures you take.
  • The glasses come in one size and three colors: Black, teal or coral.
  • Spiegel is downplaying expectations for his first hardware product by describing Spectacles as a “toy” and telling the Journal they will have limited distribution at first.

Most of the rest of the article, by freelancer Seth Stevenson, focuses on Spiegel and his company and covers ground Snapchat-watchers — sorry! Snap-watchers! — have read before, including the company’s creation story, Spiegel’s personal history and Snapchat’s wide appeal.

One thing you won’t find in the piece: Any mention of “initial public offering.”

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