Snap Inc.. (NYSE: SNAP), the parent company of Snapchat, is putting wider pressure on hardware devices with its plans to launch an augmented reality version of Spectacle’s smart glasses and a drone, according to a report from The Information (via Verge)).
What happened: Snap is The next-generation Spectacle’s smart glasses will reportedly include screens that allow the user to see AR effects without having to use the smartphone’s camera, according to the report. Current glasses require a phone to show what the smart glasses have captured.
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Unlike previous models, the new version of Spectacles is reportedly aimed at developers and creators, rather than the consumer market. The idea is that developers will create software experiences for the device that can later be offered to consumers.
The information also reported that Snap is working on a drone and has invested 20 million dollars in a Chinese drone company. The work of developing a drone has recently been prioritized by Snap Lab, a hardware group at Snap.
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Why it applies: The new products indicate Snaps’ intensified pressure on hardware. A fully AR-enabled version of Spectacle’s smart glasses will be a major advancement for the product. The current series of glasses allows the user to record videos and photos, but requires a phone with the Snapchat app for the AR experience.
Snap will also have to deal with fierce competition from companies like Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Apple inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) which has strengthened its focus on the AR / VR segment in recent years.
It was reported earlier this month that almost a fifth of Facebook’s global workforce works in the company’s Reality Labs department, the group that develops AR and VR devices. Facebook launched its wireless VR headset – Oculus Quest 2 in September last year.
Apple plans to launch the long-blended mixed-reality headset by the middle of next year, followed by augmented reality glasses by 2025, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
Price action: Snap shares closed approx. 0.1% higher on Tuesday to $ 49.61.
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