Snapchat has recently acquired a US startup, Vergence Labs, which manufactures a Google Glass-type gadget. This information has surfaced after a leak from Sony Entertainment CEO and Snapchat board member Michael Lynton’s email inbox was hacked as part of the hugely publicised Sony hack.
The hacked emails reveal that Snapchat has paid $15 million (£9.5 million) to purchase Vergence Labs. This deal consisted of $11 million in cash and $4 million in stock. This has come to light despite the fact that Vergence Labs has made no indication that it is owned by the Snapchat, however sources at the company have confirmed the acquisition to Business Insider.
There is much speculation about why Snapchat made the move to acquire Vergence. Some say it is for their staff or other say it was for some new technology that they are currently developing, it is more likely, however, that they the most interested in the technology firm’s Epiphany Eyewear product. The device is very similar to Google’s Glass wearable technology. Epiphany Eyewear are basically glasses, which is capable of recording video by pressing a button that is located on the side of the frame.
The Epiphany Eyewear product is available in 8GB, 16GB and 32GB versions. The pricing structure is between $300 and $500. The user will then simply connect the glasses to a computer in order to upload their footage to their Vergence account. Although the glasses are not capable of taking any photographs, the firm does offer some software that is capable of capturing still images from the video files.
Vergence Labs was founded by Erick Miller and John Rodriguez back in 2011. This was before Google Glass was unveiled, thereby making Vergence Labs one of the early advocates of wearable technology.
While the Snapchat acquisition has been kept ‘secret’, it does appear that both the two firms have had a behind-the-scenes partnership for a while now. Apparently this was ‘confirmed’ in another leaked email, which revealed Snapchat loaned Vergence $2 million.
[Image via en.wikipedia]