New Snap smart glasses are reportedly coming this week — despite a $40 million write-down from the last ones

  • Snap will unveil a new version of its Spectacles smart glasses later this week, according to a Wednesday report by Wired.
  • Not only was the revenue from Spectacles negligible through most of last year, but the company actually ended up writing off nearly $40 million in excess inventory and orders.
  • Wired snagged a rare interview with Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, who said the company is taking a separate approach to its small hardware initiative and popular app platform.
A person holds up a pair of Snapchat Spectacles by Snap Inc. on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during the company's initial public offering (IPO) in New York, March 2, 2017.
Michael Nagle | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A person holds up a pair of Snapchat Spectacles by Snap Inc. on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) during the company's initial public offering (IPO) in New York, March 2, 2017.

Snap will unveil a new version of its Spectacles smart glasses later this week, according to a Wednesday report by Wired.

Wired snagged a rare interview with Snap CEO Evan Spiegel, who said the company is taking a separate approach to its small hardware initiative and popular app platform.

"We decouple them so that they're all allowed to develop on their own until they come together," Spiegel told Wired. "Over the next decade or so, the way that these pieces fit together will probably be what defines our company."

The augmented reality glasses market has been notoriously difficult to crack — Intel, for example, is closing the division behind its smart glasses, and the much-lauded start-up, Magic Leap, has yet to ship a product to consumers. So far, Snap has been no exception to the trend: Not only was the revenue from Spectacles negligible through most of last year, but the company actually ended up writing off nearly $40 million in excess inventory and purchase commitment cancellations.

Snap did not respond to a request for comment, and Spiegel did not specifically address the release of the new product in the interview.

Nonetheless, FCC documents had indicated that the company might be working on a new model.

In the new Wired piece, Spiegel says that hardware is holding augmented reality back, but says "we can still move forward at a really fast pace empowering very advanced augmented reality products within Snapchat."

The full Wired report is available here.

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Snap.