Snap has agreed to acquire WaveOptics, the supplier of the augmented reality displays that power its new Spectacles glasses, for more than $500 million, The Verge has learned. The deal is Snap’s largest ever, underscoring the company’s long-term bet that AR eyewear will eventually go mainstream.
WaveOptics primarily makes waveguides, a display technology that allows for the overlaying of virtual objects onto the real world through a transparent surface like glass, and accompanying light projectors. Snap is using WaveOptics displays in the new Spectacles announced this week, which it isn’t selling widely but is giving to a small number of AR effect creators.
It's more than a bet that AR glasses will go mainstream. It's a bet that it will happen soon, pushing many other industry players to enter the market as fast as possible.
A way to slow down the competition is by removing component suppliers from the market.
Also, remember that Snap acquired DAQRI assets and expertise.