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Snapchat quietly put down $15m for a company that makes smart glasses

Snapchat back in March quietly acquired a company that makes high-tech specs, according to information gleaned from a batch of emails posted online by the Sony Pictures hackers.

Details of the purchase were spotted by Business Insider in emails from Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton, a Snapchat board member. The correspondence revealed the startup put down $15 million for Vergence Labs, an LA-based firm that makes a device similar to Google Glass that offers video recording capabilities.

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According to Vergence Labs’ website, the Epiphany Eyewear gadget (shown above) records 720p video with a single tap of a button on the side of the frame. The chunky-framed face-based device can’t take photos, though it does come with software that helps you grab still images from the video footage.

The device is currently listed as sold out in the company’s online store, though when it’s in stock it costs between $299 and $499 depending on how much storage you go for (8, 16 and 32GB offered).

Acquisition

No announcement was ever made by either company about the acquisition, and it’s not altogether clear why exactly it caught the attention of Snapchat. However, as Business Insider suggests, it may be that the team behind the ephemeral photo-messaging app saw something striking in Vergence Labs’ technology, or believed its engineers possess skills useful for the development of its messaging app.

What we do know is that Snapchat recently introduced video chat to its app, so it may have something planned in connection with that part of its service. There’s also an outside chance it could even surprise everyone with the launch of an entirely new venture, or it might simply just say nothing and continue to go about its business in its usual quiet way, which is pretty much what it seemed to want to do before the Sony hackers got hold of all those emails.