Snapchat, a company known for its unique photo-sharing application has been in the news for developing its very own wearable product. Since 2014, the company has made strides which favored the idea. In 2014, the company acquired Vergence Labs, a company known for specializing in the creation of smart-glasses product. As no official statement was released from the company, the news settled down on its own. Last month, however, the company’s CEO Evan Spiegel was photographed wearing, what appears to be a smart-glasses prototype. The glasses in the picture had a pair of dark and almost circular frames which had cameras propped up on either side. This photograph has once again, sparked rumors about Snapchat’s hardware ambitions.
The Financial Times has recently reported about Snapchat becoming a member of a Bluetooth group which would allow the $18 Billion valuated company to develop hardware products that could be connected using Bluetooth technology. This once again hints towards something like a Snapchat connected headset. The news about Snapchat developing a mountable headset gives credibility to the report issued by CNET earlier this year. The report stated that Snapchat might be working on a Google Glass competitor as the company has hired many people including famous eyewear designer Lauryn Morries.
Furthermore, Snapchat is currently working on building a hardware-centric team which would focus on 3-D Projects. This is being attributed to the recent hires pertaining to both hardware and augmented reality made by the company. One of the most prominent hire by the company is Dan Stein, who was responsible for leading the recruitment sections of Google’s Project Aura, the section which was responsible for the creation of Google Glass and other wearables developed by the company. Two hardware designers from Nokia have also become a part of Snapchat’s team.
In case Snapchat does spin off a hardware play, it would benefit the company to learn from the mistakes and success points of its competitors. For instance, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was largely glorified for his successful $2 Billion purchase of VR start-up Oculus. Google, on the other hand, was the center of criticism due to the development of Google Glass – a product, which was perhaps too early in time to find a receptive audience.
Even though Snapchat’s plans for hardware expansions are vague, however given the company’s recent hires it would definitely not be surprising to witness Snapchat expanding beyond pictures and video messaging.