Snap Doubles Down On Augmented Reality With $500M WaveOptics Acquisition


Snap Inc, the parent company of Snapchat, has made it clear in recent days that its leadership sees augmented reality as a critical component of its future success.


First, the company announced a new version of its AR glasses on Thursday, and on Friday, it announced a $500 million purchase of WaveOptics. WaveOptics makes the waveguides and projectors used in AR glasses, and Snap worked with the company on the latest iteration of its “Spectacles.”


The move comes as Snap, Apple, Facebook, and other tech giants are racing to develop the augmented reality hardware which will gain wide adoption. The Spectacles which Snap announced on Thursday will only be sold to its creators while the company continues to finetune the design for mass adoption.


Payments for the transaction will be divided into two parts. The first half will be paid in Snap stock upon the closing of the deal. The second half will be paid in either cash or stock two years from the initial closing date.


Do you think Snap has a chance at taking market share from Apple or Facebook, or is this a misguided effort that will destroy value for shareholders?