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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.

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. 

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