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Snapchat Parent To Launch AR Glasses And A Drone, Furthering Hardware Push: Report

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Snapchat Parent To Launch AR Glasses And A Drone, Furthering Hardware Push: Report

Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP), the parent company of Snapchat, is making a broader push into hardware devices with its plans to launch an augmented-reality version of its Spectacles smart glasses and a drone, according to a report by The Information (via the Verge).

What Happened: Snap’s next-generation Spectacles smart glasses will reportedly include displays that will enable the wearer to view AR effects without the need to use a smartphone’s camera, according to the report. The current Spectacles require a phone to display what the smart glasses have captured.

See also: How to Buy Snapchat Stock

Unlike past models, the new version of Spectacles is reportedly aimed at developers and creators, rather than the consumer market. The idea is for developers to 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 in a Chinese drone company. Work on developing a drone has recently been made the priority of Snap Lab, a hardware group at Snap.

It was reported in 2017 that Snap acquired drone company Ctrl Me Robotics in a deal for less than $1 million.

See Also: Thinking About Buying Stock Or Options In Amazon, Nio, Snap Or Apple?

Why It Matters: The new products indicate Snap’s intensified push into hardware. A fully AR-enabled version of the Spectacles smart glasses would be a major advance for the product. The current series of Spectacles enables the user to record videos and photos but require a phone with the Snapchat app for the AR experience.

Snap will also have to deal with stiff competition from companies such as Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) that have intensified their focus on the AR/VR segment in recent years.

It was reported earlier this month that almost one-fifth of Facebook’s global workforce is working at the company’s Reality Labs division, the group developing AR and VR devices. Facebook launched its wireless VR headset — the Oculus Quest 2 in September last year.

Apple plans to launch its long-rumored mixed reality headset in the middle of next year, followed by augmented reality glasses by 2025, according to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Price Action: Snap shares closed about 0.1% higher on Tuesday at $49.61.

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