Snap to buy augmented reality company WaveOptics for over $500 mln

Snap Inc. (SNAP.N) On Friday, WaveOptics Ltd, a UK augmented reality (AR) technology company, is acquired for over $ 500 million.

First reported by The Verge and confirmed by a Snap spokesperson, the deal will help the photo messaging app owner Snapchat find his way into a future where AR glasses could be ubiquitous.

Snap, along with other tech giants like Facebook Inc. (FB.O) and Apple Inc. (AAPL.O), are running to build AR devices as the next technological frontier after the smartphone.

The vision behind AR glasses is that a user can, for example, virtually see the route direction in front of him or, for example, see information about a landmark in his environment.

Snap said it will pay half of the $ 500 million WaveOptics in inventory upon closing, and the other half will be paid in either cash or stock in two years’ time. Snap is based in Santa Monica, California and WaveOptics is headquartered in Oxford, England.

On Thursday, Snap unveiled a new version of its glasses, the first to include AR with two built-in cameras, two speakers and four microphones. Continue reading

The new glasses will not be sold to the public and will only be available to AR developers who apply to use the glasses.

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