Snapchat has acquired Venice Beach-based drone manufacturer called Ctrl Me Robotics for less than a million dollars, reported BuzzFeed. “Ctrl Me was in the process of winding down when it approached Snap about a possible deal, a source with knowledge of the situation told BuzzFeed News,” the report reads. Ctrl Me Robotics put out an Instagram post with caption, “Snapchat from your Drone.” Picture reveals a drone fitted with a smartphone.
It is unclear how Snapchat plans to use drones as of now. The latest development comes amid reports of the company developing a drone of its own. According to New York Times, Snapchat will use drones to collect visual data, given they are at the base of Snapchat app. Snapchat’s new hardware product will click pictures and shoot videos. However, it is doubtful these drones will be available for consumers.
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has time and again insisted that Snapchat is a camera company. It wants to reinvent camera to “to improve the way that people live and communicate”. And acquisition of a drone manufacturing company seems to be a step ahead in that direction.
The first hardware product by the company was $130 sunglasses called Spectacles. It has a 115-degree wide angle camera lens that shoots 10-second videos. According to a report in Wall Street Journal, the cameras in Spectacles record circular video and aims to reproduce results from a user’s point of view. The company recently went public with its IPO and raised over $3.4 billion.
Snapchat, which has over 161 million active users, is facing tough competition from rivals Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. Stories feature on Instagram as well as WhatsApp now has more monthly users when compared to Snapchat Stories. Snapchat just rolled out custom Stories, a feature expected to attract more users.