Snap Buys UK-Based AR Display Provider Startup WaveOptics For USD 500 Million As It Releases Augmented Reality Glasses

AR display is driving the market now. The American multimedia giant Snap has acquired WaveOptics. It is an AR startup. The company makes projectors and waveguides that are used in AR glasses. WaveOptics will provide service to Snap’s optical systems, spectacles augmented reality glasses. Snap is the parent company of popular social media platform Snapchat. The company signed the deal to acquire WaveOptics for USD 500 million. WaveOptics also works on a technology that powers the AR glasses. WaveOptics is an Abingdon-based company. It was founded in 2014. The company has raised USD 65 million in funding so far. The deal was signed as Snap launched the next generation of Spectacles.

Snap’s glasses bring augmented reality to real life. However, the glasses are not available for sale to the public. The company has designed Spectacles for creators. The glasses will enable AR creators to look for new ways to fuse creativity. The company said that it will provide an immersive experience to creators. Snap said that the new spectacles are completely integrated with Lens Studio. It has designed the desktop application for AR creators. This is Snap’s largest-ever deal. It highlights Snap’s long-term bet that AR eyewear will gain popularity and gradually become mainstream. WaveOptics said that the waveguides technology overlays virtual objects onto the real world. It has a transparent surface similar to glass.

Snap unveiled the AR glasses at Snap Partner Summit. The utility is powered by Snap’s new Spatial Engine. It said that the new spectacles are equipped with a touchpad, two RGB cameras, two speakers, and four microphones. Snap said that the lenses appear in the field of view in just 15 milliseconds. The Spectacles weigh only 134 grams. On a single charge, Snap’s glasses can last for around 30 minutes. The company has provided a button in right to allow creators to activate Scan. They can also use the Voice Scan option. There is a left button that lets creators capture Snaps of Lenses for 10 seconds. Meanwhile, Snapchat has logged more than 500 million active users monthly.