Snap to acquire AR technology company WaveOptics

Social-media platform Snap is to acquire UK-based augmented reality (AR) technology company WaveOptics for over $500m.

Founded in 2014, WaveOptics designs and manufactures waveguides which are the lens component of wearable AR glasses. WaveOptics has 100 employees and has offices in the UK, China, Taiwan and the US.

The social-media platform will pay half the $500m in stock at closing and the other half will be paid in either cash or stock in two years.

The move comes after Snap introduced a suite of new products and features last week, including Spectacles, its AR glasses. The glasses allow users to overlay filter, or what it calls its Lenses onto the real world. The glasses have two small cameras, four microphones and a display, and allow users to capture and share clips of what they see.

For now, Spectacles will be used for Snap creators to build AR experiences on the social-media platform.