Is Snapchat making its own version of Google Glass or Microsoft’s HoloLens? The company appears to be staffing up on hardware experts, and a new CNET report suggests it could be working on a headset of its own.
Snapchat currently employs about a dozen employees with hardware experience. That includes Mark Dixon, who previously worked as a recruiter for Microsoft’s HoloLens division, and Eitan Pilipski, who helped develop augmented reality technology for Qualcomm. Snapchat even scooped up Kelly Nyland, a marketer who helped promote Sphero’s BB-8 and the Parrot AR Drone.
One hire in particular suggests Snapchat could be eyeing the smart glasses market. Lauryn Morris helped design frames for Michael Kors and several other companies before joining the startup.
Snapchat also runs its own R&D department, along with a mysterious Snap Lab division. Clearly the company is up to something though for now it isn’t willing to reveal anything to the public.
If Snapchat ends up releasing its own version of Google Glass, or something totally new, the company may have a better shot at taking wearable tech mainstream than any of its competitors thanks to its loyal and growing user base. But first the mobile giant needs to prove it can make the jump from apps to hardware.