Hoping to take off — unlike Google Glass

Snap Inc. — formerly known as Snapchat — has begun selling camera-embedded sunglasses, hoping its wearable technology can succeed where Google Glass failed.

The Spectacles sunglasses allow people to record 10-second clips, with the point-of-view videos uploaded wirelessly to the Snapchat app on the person’s phone. It’s the first move into the physical world for Snap, which was renamed in September, when it announced plans for the new sunglasses.

You won’t find the Spectacles behind store counters — at least, not at first. The company is selling them exclusively through bright yellow vending machines, the first of which appeared on Venice Beach in California.

The company has not announced where the vending machines will be located, saying only that an online map would reveal future locations.

For Spectacles to be a hit, it would have to overcome many of the issues that dogged Google Glass, the $1,500 gadget that never delivered on the great hopes it conjured for wearable technology. Among other problems, consumers were put off by the aesthetics and concerned about privacy — you never knew when someone wearing them might be recording you.

Snap has tried to sidestep the privacy questions by having an indicator light turn on when Spectacles is recording.



App helps document vacation adventures

If you don’t want to carry a heavy journal on your next trip, check out this app for documenting your vacation.

Journi builds a story (or mobile blog entries) using the photos in your smartphone. Add text and click on the map icon to see highlights from your travels. It allows you to view trips from either the app or the website.

It is available for Apple devices and most Android devices and is a quick and easy alternative to setting up a website for a single trip. You can build the entry while you’re offline, making it more convenient. It also marks the time and place the photo was taken. Group journaling is another option, a great tool for multigenerational trips or reunions. Your Journi can be made public or private. The only limitation is that everything is done chronologically, and you can’t manually change that.