comscore Snapchat joins Bluetooth SIG, rumored to be working on an augmented reality hardware
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Snapchat joins Bluetooth SIG, rumored to be working on an augmented reality hardware

Snapchat has moved beyond being just an app with disappearing messages and photo filters. And now new rumors indicate that the company may be secretly working on its own hardware.

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Snapchat has been consistently updating its messaging app with new features. Of late Snapchat has been striving to move past just being the app with self-destructing messages and evolve as a platform for broadcasting live videos for events and publishers. Considering Instagram and Facebook have been continually playing catch up with Snapchat by releasing almost similar features, Snapchat has no choice but to ensure its idiosyncrasy is maintained. The latest string of rumors now suggest that Snapchat may be working on its own Augmented Reality (AR) hardware device. Also Read - 10 most downloaded mobile apps in 2021 so far: TikTok, Facebook, WhatsApp, more

Also Read - Disney Pixar Filter: How to get and use the 3D cartoon face filter on Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok

The rumors were triggered after a report by Financial Times revealed that Snapchat has recently joined the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), consortium of companies that take care of the Bluetooth wireless standard. Any company that employs Bluetooth in their hardware device must be a part of the SIG. Also, we checked the list of Bluetooth company identifier , which are unique numbers assigned by the Bluetooth SIG to member companies requesting one, and we saw Snapchat listed as a member on the website. Also Read - How to use Snapchat's viral Cartoon 3D Style Lens

The development comes days after rumors that Snapchat could be working on its own AR- based hardware. To be precise, the industry has been speculating a Google glass-like wearable device from Snapchat. Few months ago, Snapchat was also reported to have been hiring developers from major augmented reality groups like Microsoft s HoloLens, PTC s (formerly Qualcomm s) Vuforia and eye-tracking tech maker Eyefluence to make Snapchat s AR glasses. Back in 2014, Snapchat acquired Vergence Lab for $15 million, which made frames for Google Glass.

Besides that, in August 2015, Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, at a vacation in Corsica was spotted wearing a pair of black sunglasses that looked like they had cameras attached to its lenses and frames. Business Insider had reported that a source close to Snapchat told them that those glasses were, in fact, an early prototype of Snapchat s secret wearable hardware.

According to Financial Times, So far this year, according to postings on LinkedIn, Snapchat has hired electrical engineers, marketers and product managers from hardware start-ups such as Ring, which makes a doorbell with wireless video, Canary, which makes a home security camera, and Sphero, the robotics developer behind the hit Star Wars BB-8 toy, as well as Oculus, the virtual reality headset maker owned by Facebook.

Last month, Snapchat had also filed for a patent application to integrate a new augmented reality feature in its app. The patent application talked about merging sponsored filters within the app, which would recognize objects and overlay it with corresponding information. Essentially, the patent-pending feature would be a visual equivalent of advertising space and sponsored content on the app. The patent application defined the feature as an object recognition based photo filter.

If you connect all dots, Snapchat seems to be indeed creating its own AR-based features with hiring experts who have records of developing AR wearable devices, and now the company joining the Bluetooth SIG. That said, even Facebook is listed in the Bluetooth SIG group. Last year, Facebook had started a project, under which it was giving out free Bluetooth Beacons to business owners. The beacons were a part of a wireless, location-based ambient advertising push for business owners.

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  • Published Date: September 6, 2016 3:50 PM IST
  • Updated Date: September 7, 2016 11:20 AM IST



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