Snap buys another company to make RA purchases a reality

Snap makes a big bet on RA purchases.

Snapchat’s parent company has bought Vertebrae, a company that allows brands to create and manage 3D versions of their products. The 50-person Vertebrae team will continue to develop the platform for existing and new customers, according to a Snap spokesman. The idea is for a company to be able to easily upload visuals and other information about an item to Vertebrae and make a 3D version so shoppers can access it and potentially buy directly from Snapchat.

Although Snap first used its augmented reality technology for silly effects like rainbow rice and hot dog dancing, the company is increasingly seeing RA as a way to shop. Early testing of RA shopping experiences, such as a recent collaboration with Gucci to allow people to practically try on limited-edition sneakers, showed Snap that people are more likely to buy something after ‘having interacted in 3D.

“We are excited to join Snap, where we will strengthen and expand our world-class 3D asset platform for retailers and brands,” Vertebrae CEO Vince Cacace said in an exclusive statement to The Verge. “The future of RA trading is bright and we will continue to make it easier for our partners to create, manage and deploy RA experiences at all customer contact points.”

Vertebrate interface for marks.
Image: Vertebrae

Snap declined to say how much he paid for Vertebrae, but the deal was probably small in relation to WaveOptics’ $ 500 million acquisition, which puts RA screens in their smart glasses. . To date, Vertebrae has raised nearly $ 10 million in risk funding. List Toyota, Adidas, CB2 and other well-known brands as customers on their website. It also worked with Facebook, Snap’s main competitor, in RA purchasing technology in 2019.

When you combine Vertebrae with other acquisitions and features related to Snap shopping, including Fit Analytics and Screenshop, it’s easier to understand your ambitions of being a shopping destination. For brands, the company is setting up a self-service system to easily upload and manage AR versions of their products that people can discover on Snapchat. For Snapchat users, imagine being able to scan almost anything in the real world and turn it into a virtual object that you can manipulate, resize, and then buy without leaving the app.

If people are really shopping for RA with their phones, it will make Snapchat a short-term utility, while also making their ads more effective, as someone’s purchases are a strong indicator of other items that they would be interested. beyond smartphones, RA shopping is more appealing in a future world when more people are wearing smart glasses with screens, such as the latest Snap Shows.

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