Snap Inc., Snapchat’s parent company, has attempted to rebrand itself as a consumer camera company for the last few years, emphasizing the switch when announcing it’s public offering early this year. Just before going public, the company talked about it’s Spectacles product and the New York Times reported that the company was working on a drone project.
That project may be getting a jumpstart. Snap Inc. quietly purchased Cntrl Me Robotics late last year, reports The Verge, in an approximately one million dollar deal that included company assets and the CEO, Simon Saito Neilson.
Snap is widely known as the creator of Snapchat, the ubiquitous social media app. But the companies top management is trying to shift direction towards hardware, starting with the introduction last year of Spectacles. Spectacles are Snap’s sunglasses that will record short video clips. Giving consumers easy access to visual data through fun tools like Spectacles or drones increases users’ interactions with Snapchat. The average user opens the app more than 18 times a day, according to Snap’s public offering prospectus.
“We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way that people live and communicate,” says Snap. “Our products empower people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.”
It’s unclear if CA-based Cntrl Me Robotics, a custom drone company focused on the film industry, actually produced its own drones -but the founders experience in the industry may help to move the product forward. Snap has not commented publicly on its plans.
Snap’s public offering was one of the largest in recent years, but the stock collapsed after the company’s first quarterly report revealed a $2.2 billion loss and slower growth in new users than expected. Revenue from the company’s hardware, like Spectacles, still form a tiny percent of the total.