Skip to main content

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

snapchat secretly acquired a company that makes smart glasses vergence labs
Image used with permission by copyright holder
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.

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).


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.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
How to make a GIF from a YouTube video
woman sitting and using laptop

Sometimes, whether you're chatting with friends or posting on social media, words just aren't enough -- you need a GIF to fully convey your feelings. If there's a moment from a YouTube video that you want to snip into a GIF, the good news is that you don't need complex software to so it. There are now a bunch of ways to make a GIF from a YouTube video right in your browser.

If you want to use desktop software like Photoshop to make a GIF, then you'll need to download the YouTube video first before you can start making a GIF. However, if you don't want to go through that bother then there are several ways you can make a GIF right in your browser, without the need to download anything. That's ideal if you're working with a low-specced laptop or on a phone, as all the processing to make the GIF is done in the cloud rather than on your machine. With these options you can make quick and fun GIFs from YouTube videos in just a few minutes.
Use for great customization
Step 1: Find the YouTube video that you want to turn into a GIF (perhaps a NASA archive?) and copy its URL.

Read more
I paid Meta to ‘verify’ me — here’s what actually happened
An Instagram profile on an iPhone.

In the fall of 2023 I decided to do a little experiment in the height of the “blue check” hysteria. Twitter had shifted from verifying accounts based (more or less) on merit or importance and instead would let users pay for a blue checkmark. That obviously went (and still goes) badly. Meanwhile, Meta opened its own verification service earlier in the year, called Meta Verified.

Mostly aimed at “creators,” Meta Verified costs $15 a month and helps you “establish your account authenticity and help[s] your community know it’s the real us with a verified badge." It also gives you “proactive account protection” to help fight impersonation by (in part) requiring you to use two-factor authentication. You’ll also get direct account support “from a real person,” and exclusive features like stickers and stars.

Read more
Here’s how to delete your YouTube account on any device
How to delete your YouTube account

Wanting to get out of the YouTube business? If you want to delete your YouTube account, all you need to do is go to your YouTube Studio page, go to the Advanced Settings, and follow the section that will guide you to permanently delete your account. If you need help with these steps, or want to do so on a platform that isn't your computer, you can follow the steps below.

Note that the following steps will delete your YouTube channel, not your associated Google account.

Read more