Snapchat looking into AR hardware – report - Mobile World Live

Snapchat looking into AR hardware – report

07 SEP 2016

Moves by Snapchat suggested that the app maker is looking to move into device hardware, with a focus on augmented reality.

Snapchat joined the Bluetooth Special Interest Group, which oversees the development of standards related to the technology, Financial Times (FT) reported.

Being a member of the group is necessary for any firm that wants to use Bluetooth and indicates an intention to launch a device rather than just develop software around the tech.

This was supported by reports from March which indicated Snapchat had hired wearable technology experts and industrial designers from Nokia and Logitech.

What’s more, in December 2014, it acquired wearable company Vergence Labs, which makes wearables similar to the ill-fated Google Glass, for $15 million.

The FT report said more recently the company hired people from tech firms such as Nest, GoPro and Oculus, and a source revealed it was in talk with manufacturers to build prototype headsets earlier this year.

In the summer co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel was photographed wearing glasses similar to Vergence’s prototype.

A start-up investor was quoted as saying: “Snapchat is very aggressive on M&A and want to see everything. They are looking at pretty much every AR start-up with computer vision skills as a possible M&A target.”

Snapchat has been on an acquisition spree this year: In March, it acquired Bitstrips, a company known for its customisable emojis.

In June, it was reported to have secretly acquired 3D photo app Seene, while last month it was liked with mobile search app Vurb.

 

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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