Ah, Snapchat. Where would we be without this zeitgeisty app that has graciously granted our culture puking rainbow filters, an expiration date for our selfies and cute geo tags to show all of our friends what cool Spring Break destination we’re at? The cultural impact of Snapchat cannot be overstated. As an inverse Instagram, Snapchat made the idea of sharing pictures of ourselves that weren’t cropped, filtered and gussied up to within an inch of not even resembling a human acceptable. Snapchat said it was okay to look silly, goofy or imperfect, the antithesis of perception in our social media obsessed world. Snapchat also facilitated the rise of two of this generation’s most deplorable villains: the fuckboy and the screenshotter. Needless to say, Snapchat got game.
Now that Snapchat has carved out a rather affable niche for itself in the app/social media realm, reports bubbling to the surface indicate the company is looking to break into the hardware game, possibly with a pair of Snapchat smart glasses. CNET reports that Snapchat has quietly started hiring experts in the field of wearable technology with sights on creating a wearable device that they can slap the Ghostface Chillah logo on. Thus far, the company has snapped up Eitan Pilipski, formerly of Qualcomm Vuforia, as an engineering director and Mark Dixon, a recruiter from Microsoft HoloLens. Both have significant experience in the virtual/augmented reality realm.
These covert hires are just the latest in a long list of signs pointing toward Snapchat entering the wearable market, going back to 2014. That year, Snapchat purchased an eyewear startup called Vergence Labs, a company that worked on devices similar to Google Glass where the glasses would record video based on what a wearer was seeing. Last year, Snapchat founded Snapchat Research, a group of engineers and scientists tasked with creating machine learning technology. With more than 100 million daily users and 8 billion video views a day, rivaling even Facebook’s numbers, Snapchat certainly has a built in base to clamor to. If the company sticks to its guns and brand of off-kilter fun, a wearable device from Snapchat could prove to be one of the more innovative, captivating and accessible wearables yet.