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Snapchat will release US$130 sunglasses with built-in camera

[SAN FRANCISCO] Snapchat plans to release a wearable gadget called Spectacles, which resembles a pair of sunglasses with a built-in camera for shooting video. The product will be sold in "limited distribution" this fall for US$129.99, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Spectacles will come in one size and three colours-black, teal or coral. The wearer can tap a button on the hinge to record video of up to 10 seconds using the wide-angle lens on the glasses, which is transmitted wirelessly to a smartphone.

Evan Spiegel, the chief executive officer and co-founder of Snapchat, has been testing a prototype of the device since at least early 2015, the newspaper reported.

The Los Angeles company, valued at US$18 billion by investors this year, will change its name to Snap Inc, reflecting its larger ambitions.

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The product represents the first foray into consumer electronics for the startup behind the popular messaging app. Spectacles has some parallels with Google Glass, a widely mocked wearable device from Alphabet Inc. Snap is expected to show off Spectacles in New York next week.