Snapchat, the ephemeral messaging app known for selfies and it’s funny face filters, is looking to explore the augmented reality terrain further by launching its own AR glasses with Bluetooth.
According to a report in The Financial Times, the app is now a part of Bluetooth special interest group (SIG), which is the group that helps create the wireless communications technology. Snapchat as an adopter can now build products using Bluetooth, and the report hints these potential AR glasses will apply some of Snapchat’s fun filters and apply them to the real world around you, though what exact value something like this will hold is still unclear.
In March, CNET had first reported Snapchat was building a pair of special glasses. The report pointed out how Snapchat acquired Vergence Labs in 2014, a startup that also does something on the lines of Google Glass and product designers from the company are at still at Snapchat. The report also highlighted how Snapchat has its own Research Division and has made key hires in the past which hint at such smart glasses.
A Snapchat smart-glass, according to CNET’s report, will let people take photos and videos instantly, without the need for going to the app or your mobile.
Of course, Snapchat has not yet commented on the smart glasses rumours but it won’t be surprising if the company is looking to expand beyond being just another messaging app. There’s no doubt Snapchat has managed to make filters called Lenses on the app very popular. It is a key example of how augmented reality has gone mainstream, well before the Pokemon GO mania. The app lets users add funny filters to their faces, kind of superimposing a virtual frame on top of a real video stream. Interestingly, Facebook is also testing out similar features, and recently acquired an app called MSQRD which has filters like Snapchat.
Snapchat on its part has grown in popularity as an app with daily users crossing 150 million making it bigger than Twitter, according to reports on Bloomberg. Snapchat has not given an official update on daily users, but the app sees over 100 million videos and photos being shared daily.