Snapchat Invests in AR; Twitter Begins 360° Live Streaming

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While neither company has issued a statement, tech sites are widely reporting that Snap Inc., Snapchat's parent company, has acquired Israeli augmented reality startup Cimagine for between $30 million and $40 million. Cimagine allows users to view their living spaces through a phone or tablet's camera, then insert objects—perhaps seeing how a new couch or TV set would look in the space. The company has worked with major brands including Coca-Cola, HSN, and John Lewis. Speculation is that Snap Inc. made the investment not so much for the technology as for the talents of the company's four co-founders, all of whom are experts in computer vision and image processing, TechCrunch reports.

Snap Inc. recently filed for an IPO, which is expected to come this spring, valuing the company at between $20 billion and $25 billion.

Meanwhile, Twitter has begun offering 360° video streaming. For now, broadcasting is confined to select partners using Periscope, but any viewer can see the results. 360° videos get a Live 360 badge. Viewers can pan around the image either by moving their mobile device or swiping on the screen. Periscope will expand the feature to other broadcasters in the coming weeks. Those interested can add their names to a waitlist

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