It sounds like Snapchat could be eyeing up plans to launch a pair of AR-powered smartglasses. That's according to a source familiar with the company's future plans who believes we should expect something quite radical for the next Specs instalment.
Speaking to TechCrunch, another source claims the new Snap Spectacles will be, "quite different" to the current version, which could mean anything quite frankly.
Read this: The best smartglasses to own right now
What we do know is that there's the evidence mounting to suggest that AR is a big interest for the company and that could be its next big party piece. A revealing patent was discovered recently that shows off a pair of specs with AR tech on board. The patent also makes reference other wearables with mentions of visors, watches and even an augmented reality helmet.
Last year, Snapchat also quietly acquired augmented reality startup Cimagine for what was reported to be around $30-40 million. The Israeli-based startup specialises in building an augmented reality platform that enables consumers to instantly visualise products they want to buy in their intended location.
While Snap has not made any indication as to how it would use the tech, it could be a great fit for a pair of Google Glass-style smartglasses.
After all, before Snapchat Spectacles arrived on the scene, speculation of the company's move into hardware was fuelled by a flurry of hiring new employees with a background in AR.
Take your next step into AR
- What ARKit tells us about Apple's AR plansNot glasses, but don't worry, it can only be a matter of time
- Virtual reality v augmented reality: Which is the future?Fancy spending time in a better version of the real world or new, artificial worlds?
- Microsoft's prototype AR glasses revealedDropping the headset for the everyday look
Back in 2014, Snapchat purchased Vengeance Labs, a startup that was busy building smart eyewear that's able to record video of what a wearer sees. It also currently has an eyewear designer on its team in the shape of Lauryn Morris who previously created designer frames for Michael Kors and mixed reality glasses startup Innovega.
Morris was later joined by Mark Dixon, who previously worked on Microsoft's HoloLens headset and Titan Pilpski, who joined Snapchat as an engineering director and used to work at Qualcomm, specifically on the company's Vurforia AR software.
Snap's first camera-toting Spectacles, which launched in 2016, have just started selling outside of the US for the first time. The company revealed that it sold an estimated 90,000 of the glasses from vending machines and since they were made available online. So sales have been steady, but could a pair of AR specs perform much better? We're sure this won't be the last we hear about Snap Specs AR...
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