September 6, 2016
Snapchat is reportedly working on the creation of an augmented reality headset similar to Google Glass after joining the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).
Snapchat has joined SIG, the association that oversees licensing of Bluetooth tech, under the group’s “adopter” category, allowing the social networking firm to either create a bluetooth-enabled device or collaborate with manufacturers.
According to the Financial Times, Snapchat is working on a prototype for a wearable tech device that will add digital objects to the vision of users without any need for a Smartphone.
As the Digital Times pointed out, however, it could also be that Snapchat is simply planning to develop its own augmented reality apps, rather than a headset.
Snapchat, of course, is not commenting on the rumors but, either way, it is clear the social app firm does have more than a passing interest in augmented reality.
Snapchat’s interest in AR began back in 2014 when it acquired Vergence Labs, a maker of high-tech glasses, for $15 million. Then, in 2015, a group of scientists and engineers dubbed Snapchat Research was formed.
More recently, the company went on a bit of a hiring spree, snapping up a number of hardware experts this spring including Microsoft HoloLens recruiter Mark Dixon and Eitan Pilipski, who was part of Qualcomm’s ARcomputer vision technology Vuforia team.
The firm has also been granted a patent to bring augmented reality to advertising via its app.
It will be interesting to see if Snapchat is indeed planning to market some Google Glass-like headgear or if it will stick to AR apps. Only time will tell.