Snapchat has gained recognition for building innovative and enticing features—from receiving user-specific editorials in one place through Discover to displaying an array of snaps through Stories. Now the company is exploring the hardware sector. According to CNET, Snapchat has shown its interest in developing smart glasses equipped with an embedded camera.
In December 2014, Snapchat acquired Vergence Labs, which makes an eyeglass video camera, for $11 million. Vergence Labs’ core product is Epiphany Eyewear—glasses with a built-in video camera. Wearers can record video by simply tapping a button.
According to CNET, Snapchat is hiring members of the major augmented reality group such as “Microsoft’s HoloLens, PTC’s (formerly Qualcomm’s) Vuforia and eye-tracking tech maker Eyefluence.” The company’s move shows that it’s building a pair of smart glasses to compete with Facebook’s (FB) Oculus, Google Cardboard (GOOG), and Microsoft’s HoloLens (MSFT).
In fact, Google plans to release the advanced version of Cardboard, which will use smartphones screen to improve users’ experience. According to tech advisor Digi-Capital, augmented reality is expected to become a $120 billion market by 2020. The above graph shows that annual sales for VR (virtual reality) products continue to increase.