A high school junior called her mom from class to come pick her up.
A college nursing student bolted out of a lab.
Two workers from a “Redmond tech giant” snuck away at “lunch.”
These were just some of the people who stood in line in the cold Seattle rain on Wednesday for a chance to get their own pair of Spectacles from Snap.
As the mysterious, roaming, yellow vending “Snapbot” made an appearance at the Dick’s Drive-In restaurant in Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, word spread online. Friends messaged friends and before long the wait to get a pair of the $142 camera glasses was over an hour as the line stretched around the block.
People inside the restaurant ate burgers and fries as they stared out at shivering millennials hovered over their phones, still messaging friends, sharing their experience on social media and deciding whether they’d go with teal, black or coral Spectacles.
We caught up with some folks to ask about the Spectacles spectacle — and even purchased our own official GeekWire pair — in this latest installment of Geek on the Street.
Ian Atianza came down from the Capitol Hill neighborhood and was one of the first people in line.
“A couple friends and I have been following it for quite some time now and it just so happens that it was here, in Seattle,” Atianza said. “So I woke up this morning and made a drive. I’m happy that the line wasn’t too long when I got here; I probably waited 20 or so minutes — not too bad.”
Atianza got a black pair and said he was going to get more but there were some credit card issues with the Snapbot. We asked how he would use the Spectacles.
“The same as I would use my phone, but, you know, having swagged-out cameras for my eyes and getting the bird’s-eye perspective.”
Jordan Jansen has been keeping his eye on the bot for a little while.
“I’ve been following this for a month or so. Last time I tried to get it it started going away from Seattle and started going to California and then back over to the East Coast,” Jansen said.
When he checked the Spectacles site Wednesday and saw that the bot was in Seattle, he immediately made the 45-minute drive down from Everett, Wa., to get his hands on a black pair.
“I definitely want to put them to use,” Jansen said. “I don’t want to be the person to sell them. I want to use for every dollar I pay for them.”
Justin Eco, from Edmonds, Wa., is a University of Washington student who subscribes to alerts from @snapbotlocations on Twitter.
“I got an alert around 10:30,” Eco said. “I was on campus, I had just gotten out of class, and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh I need to go!’ so I called an Uber and so now I’m here.”
Eco said he heard about the bot around Thanksgiving. “They were all over California and then they went to Texas and New York. A few months ago they were in Portland — obviously three hours away, I would have missed it, so I didn’t go. But ever since Portland they’ve been moving further away from Seattle and finally they’re here, so I just knew I had to come over here as soon as possible.”
Eco said he plans to Snap “fun things” with his new high-tech glasses, as he’s seen people use them while snowboarding and such.
“Kind of just document my life,” he said.
Jason Gomberg got a text from a friend in Toronto asking him if the Dick’s location was nearby and if Gomberg was free. Forty-five minutes later, Gomberg was in line to get a pair of Spectacles for his friend.
“I actually don’t use Snapchat,” Gomberg said.”I’m dong the good friend thing, taking time during lunch.”
When asked what color the friend requested, Gomberg said he didn’t.
“I think he’s just thankful that I’m braving the rain.”
Zoe Robinson was at the back of the line around the corner from the bot when we checked in with her.
She was at work at the advertising agency Add3 on Capitol Hill when she got an alert about the bot being in Seattle. But she got delayed by a client call at 10:30 — “I was freaking out” — and then realized she forgot her wallet at home, so she had to Uber home and then Uber to Queen Anne. An hour and a half later she was in line, and hoping to make it back to work in time for another client call at 2 p.m.
“I have an app on my phone and I’ve been kind of religiously checking it,” Robinson said. “I work in social media advertising so we actually talk to Snapchat a lot, and we do more Facebook stuff, but I’m all about all social media.”
She was looking to get a pair for herself and hopefully another for a friend.
“What I really want to use them for is snowboarding. I think that would be awesome,” Robinson said. “Pretty much anything outdoors. But even just to play with in our office because we’re all just big tech nerds, so, it’d be kind of fun.”
Simon Legaspi wasn’t paying attention to Spectacles or the bot or anything related to Snap. But his girlfriend was.
“I hadn’t really thought about it and then my girlfriend texted me to drive out here and get one for her,” Legaspi said. “She’s at work.”
He drove down from North Seattle and stood in line for about 30 minutes.
Happy Valentine’s Day, girlfriend of Simon!
Lulu MacKinnon is a junior at Mercer Island High School and has been interested in Spectacles for a while, enough so that she left class on Wednesday to come stand in line.
“I’ve had my Twitter notifications on for the past couple months, I think,” MacKinnon said. “As soon as I saw it I called my mom and went out of school.”
“I’m the hooky mom,” Jane MacKinnon said. “I was just doing errands and I get these texts, ‘Mom of the year! Mom of the year! This is it!'”
Lulu, 16, is a big Snapchat user and Jane has been on for a few weeks — “They make me!”
Asked whether she planned to grab a pair alongside her daughter, Jane said, “She’s a geek, I’m not.”
Michael Suttles works at Ookla in downtown Seattle and made the short trip over to Lower Queen Anne. A colleague had let him know that the bot was in town that morning.
Holding two pairs, Suttles said, “One of them is a gift for a business client. And the other one is for general use.”
Trying on a black pair to test them out, he said he is on Snapchat, but he doesn’t do much with it. “I consume more than anything.”
Julie and Travis didn’t want to give their full names because they had dashed away from a “very large tech company” on the other side of Lake Washington to stand in line. They said they were at “lunch.”
Travis said he was getting Spectacles for his 15-year-old son.
“He’s 15. He’s gonna go nuts” Travis said. “He Snapchats incessantly. He never stops. He’s always Snapchatting. Everything he does he Snapchats.”
“Mine are for me,” Julie said while laughing.
Savannah Parmelee is a nursing student at Seattle University and she bolted out of a lab and grabbed a Lyft from Capitol Hill as soon as she saw that the bot was in town. She was with a group of friends.
“I’m gonna shoot with them, just try to get a lot of really cool videos that not a lot of people can do,” Parmelee said.
Rylan Yan drove 30 minutes down from Lynnwood, Wa., and Rafael Sotelo was also part of the gang.
“Whoa, You look so cool right now! How did you do that?” one them shouted at another.
“I just put ’em on, bruh.”