The company that owns world renown Snapchat – Snap Inc. – has recently spent between 30-40 million dollars to purchase an augmented reality start up company called Cimagine Media in Israel. Cimagine makes software that allows you to get a first hand glimpse of what an item would look like in your own personal environment. The technology is called True Marketless Augmented Reality and currently allows you to see what furniture from Shop Direct will look like in your own home.
They are also partnered with Coca-Cola, with the hopes of showing even more large retailers and department stores the vast potential available in making use of augmented reality. The advertising opportunities are quire vast and very enticing.
Cimagine also specializes in mobile development and international marketing as well, areas that are also of particular interest to Snap Inc. It is probably that shopping through Snapchat will be a viable option at some point next year, providing even more revenue opportunities for the company.
This is a company that has peaked the interest of Snapchat, who already uses a form of this very technology in their different lenses, which can turn user faces into animals and other distorted images. In acquiring the company, it opens the door to allow the Snapchat company to use Cimagine Media as its research and development center in Israel. The workforce there, which currently consists of about twenty employees, is expected to expand rapidly.
All of the co-founders of Cimagine Media are experts in the fields of computer vision as well as image procession, so Snap Inc. will be able to add some great talent to its lineup. It has been rumored that these experts are the main reason that Snapchat bought Cimagine Media, since Snapchat has been having a lot of problems that have a lot of people upset. Officials on both sides, however, have declined to comment on the statement.
However, rising competition from Facebook has been amplified since the media giant has been uncovering new features, including Instagram Stories. Snap Inc has a history of secrecy in its acquisitions, with the exception of a few so far this past year, including their purchase of Bitstrips for roughly 100 million dollars. Other Snap Inc. purchases include a company from San Francisco known as Flite, a specialized advertising agency, Vurb, and Obvious Engineering, also known as Seene. Again, rumors abound that these purchases were made more for the expertise that comes with them rather than the companies themselves.