Snap said Friday it will acquire WaveOptics, a British augmented reality (AR) technology company, for over $500 million (roughly Rs. 3,645 crores).
The deal, first reported by The Verge and confirmed by a Snap spokesman, will help the owner of photo messaging app Snapchat push its way into a future where AR eyewear could be ubiquitous.
Snap, along with other tech giants like Facebook and Apple, are racing to build AR devices as the next technological frontier after the smartphone.
The vision behind AR eyewear is that it could allow a user to virtually see route directions in front of them, or see information about a landmark in their surroundings, for example.
Snap said it will pay half the $500 million for WaveOptics in stock at closing, and the other half will be paid in either cash or stock in two years. Snap is based in Santa Monica, California, while WaveOptics is headquartered in Oxford, England.
On Thursday, Snap unveiled a new version of its Spectacles glasses, the first to incorporate AR with two built-in cameras, two speakers and four microphones.
The new Spectacles won't be sold to the public, and will only be available to AR developers who apply to use the glasses.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
It's Google I/O time this week on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast, as we discuss Android 12, Wear OS, and more. Later (starting at 27:29), we jump over to Army of the Dead, Zack Snyder's Netflix zombie heist movie. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts. Affiliate links may be automatically generated - see our ethics statement for details.