Snapchat's New York Spectacles Pop-Up Causes a Scene for Tech Fans and Power Users

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Enthusiasts of Snapchat, or just tech and gadgetry, crowded a temporary store offering Snap Inc.'s new glasses that record photos and video.
Enthusiasts of Snapchat, or just tech and gadgetry, crowded a temporary store offering Snap Inc.'s new glasses that record photos and video. Credit: Rebecca Hia
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People lined up on Monday at a midtown Manhattan pop-up store containing a vending machine selling Snapchat's new Spectacles, glasses configured to take pictures and shoot video.

Consumers first heard of the arrival of one of the machines, which Snap Inc. is deploying for short stops around the country to build buzz for Spectacles, through Twitter and YouTube. Enthusiasts rushed to get a taste of the latest thing in social media technology.

"I'm really here to just kinda check it out, the hype around it," said Eric Lee, who waited in line for over four hours to get his hands on the new product. "It's both my own personal need to see new gadgets and any other business opportunities that come from it." Mr. Lee is the founder of Hudly, a company that markets heads-up displays for cars and phones.

The demand was so great that anyone who showed up after 12:30 p.m. was turned away, to the chagrin of some fans.

The rush to become early adopters drew others to the event. "I think we're tech geeks, that's why it's just something I want to try," said Bhavna Sethi, a tech entrepreneur.

For others, like Jacob Roscoe, a college student, the cool factor was definitely at work. "At the end of the day it's kinda cool to be among the first people to try things," said Mr. Roscoe, an avid Snapchat user with over 20,000 points and a penchant for skipping school to be the first among his friends to snag the latest technology. (Snapchat gives users a point for every "snap" they send or receive.)

And some, like Bryan Herrera, planned to earn some money. Mr. Herrera plans on keeping one set of Spectacles and selling a second pair on Twitter. He said, "It's a win-win situation and you have something that nobody else has."