Snapchat maker Snap is reportedly considering making 360-degree cameras, several sources with knowledge of the matter told TechCrunch. The Venice, Los Angeles-based company was reportedly listening to product pitches from a camera developer that specializes in 360-degree and stereoscopic cameras. Snap still didn’t decide to go through with the idea of actually committing resources to researching and developing an in-house 360 camera but is merely considering its options, sources said.
Snap’s meeting with the aforementioned camera developer isn’t the first one of its kind as sources claim that the social media giant previously corresponded with a number of tech startups, implying how it might acquire them. However, the company’s primary goal was to probe the startups for information and data pertaining to products, technologies, and new markets it might consider expanding to in the future, TechCrunch reports, citing a source with knowledge of Snap’s M.O. The company reportedly acquired a number of startups after such meetings, but it also often met with startups to try to subtly extract some information from them, the report states. Last year, the company reportedly had one such meeting with Lily, a startup that was developing a selfie drone before it went out of business.
Coincidentally, a report from earlier today claimed that Snap is developing a drone, which the aforementioned source also confirmed. However, there’s still no word on how close the company is to commercializing the aircraft. Other hardware options that Snap is allegedly considering include a stereoscopic camera capable of recording 3D images and a mounted camera similar to the GoPro product lineup. Snap’s newfound focus on hardware was recently detailed in an address to investors and potential shareholders that the firm released to explain how any why it wants to become a camera company. It remains to be seen whether the decision to focus on hardware shortly after breaking even with software will prove to be a good plan for Snap in the long-term. However, the maker of Snapchat is apparently adamant to adopt that approach despite the fact that it may discourage potential investors that could be considering purchasing the company’s stock after Snap goes public tomorrow.