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Snap Acquires UK-Based AR Display Provider WaveOptics for $500M

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Snap, the parent company of popular social media app Snapchat, has acquired augmented reality (AR) display provider WaveOptics, which power its new Spectacles glasses for more than $500 million, the media reported.

According to The Verge, the UK-based WaveOptics will continue to supply other firms with its display technology called “waveguides” and work with Snap-on custom optical systems.

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Snap unveiled the next generation of Spectacles on Thursday, its first pair of glasses that bring augmented reality to life.

Not for sale and designed for creators, Spectacles enable augmented reality creators to discover new ways to fuse creativity and utility through immersive experiences built-in Lens Studio.

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“Spectacles are fully integrated with Lens Studio. This powerful desktop application designed for augmented reality creators and developers is used to build and distribute Lenses across Snap’s AR platform,” the company said in a statement.

The “waveguides” technology allows virtual objects to be overlapped on the real world through a transparent surface like glass and accompanying light projectors.

Founded in 2014, WaveOptics has raised $65 million in funding to date.

Snap-on Thursday announced new features, latest updates, and Augmented Reality (AR) experiences, like new AR tools and camera experiences, the next generation of Spectacles, and launched ‘Story Studio’ — a new standalone app offering powerful editing tools to creators on mobile.

Popular social media platform Snapchat has reached over 500 million monthly active users, with roughly 40 percent of its community located outside of North America and Europe.

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