Could Snapchat be branching out?
It seems highly possible, according to a Cnet.com report indicating the $16 billion company is recruiting a number of hardware specialists.
Though everyone working for the stealth project is staying quiet, Snapchat has hired at least 16 wearable technology specialists from a variety of backgrounds to work on the team, according to the outlet.
There’s no telling what the team is actually doing in that Snap Lab, but it’s entirely possible they’re hard at working developing a “Snapchat Glass” (most members reportedly have experience developing smart glasses or related devices).
The release of its own wearable devices could help Snapchat expand its consumer base and longevity, since right now most of its users are teenagers. It could also make the social network more accessible, eliminating the need for users to navigate through their phones to find the app.
If Snapchat is developing smart glasses, it has a tricky PR battle ahead. As proven with Google Glass, encouraging people to wear computers on their faces can be problematic.
Back in 2013, even Snapchat CEO and co-founder Evan Spiegel seemed hesitant about the idea.
"[Y]ou kind of feel like you have a gun pointed at you, and that doesn't fit into the Snapchat experience and certainly doesn't make Snapchatters feel comfortable -- so that's not something we're willing to explore right now,” he told The Huffington Post.
But it appears Spiegel may have had a change in heart.