The big day for Snap that resulted in the debut of a brand new augmented reality Spectacles smartglasses is turning into a big week.
On Friday, just as the company was still basking in the generally positive reception of the latest version of Spectacles, news came that Snap has acquired wave guide maker WaveOptics.
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The deal not only gives Snap a huge edge over its competition in terms of producing AR smartglasses in the future, but it also indicates in no uncertain terms just how committed to AR Snap actually is, far beyond the borders of Snapchat̵
Snap’s deal to buy the UK-based startup for $ 500 million – Snap’s largest acquisition ever – was first reported by The edge. The first Snap product to use WaveOptics technology is none other than the latest version of Spectacles, loosely known as Spectacles 4, but referred to internally by the Snap team as “Spectacles 2021.”
According to the report, the WaveOptics team will immediately report to Steen Strand, Snap’s hardware director. The WaveOptics team tapped its hand on Twitter a few weeks ago when it posted about the mainstreaming of AR smartglasses.
WaveOptics is just the latest target of Snap’s aggressive acquisition march. In January, Snap acquired Ariel AI to enhance its tracking technology arsenal by working on “real-time and highly accurate 3D reconstruction of the human body shape from a single RGB image on mobile devices.” And in April, Snap acquired Pixel8.Earth, a company dedicated to developing AR cloud solutions.
The last time we reported about WaveOptics was a few years ago when the company secured another $ 26 million round of funding. In total, the company raised about $ 65 million over the course of its life before Snap.
With the support of Lens Studio’s software platform and Snapchat’s installed user base, it looks like the combination of WaveOptics and Snap will drive AR smartglasses into the mainstream faster than many expected.