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Snap bets on AR shopping in latest acquisition

Snap Inc has bought up Vertebrae, a tech business that helps brands create 3D models of their products for customers to view and interact with, in a move thought to bolster its own augmented reality shopping aspirations.

According to a report in The Verge, Snap is increasingly focused on becoming a home to AR shopping, as seen by a recent collaboration with Gucci which allowed customers to ‘try on’ the brand’s limited-edition sneakers to drive purchases, and the recent unveiling of its latest pair of AR Glasses – Spectacles 3.

Vertebrae chief executive Vince Cacace told The Verge the future of AR shopping is bright, and that the business’ acquisition by Snap will bring its product to more brands and retailers.

“We’re thrilled to join Snap,” Cacace said. “And we’ll continue to make it easy for our partners to create, manage, and deploy AR experiences across all customer touch points.”

According to Swinburne University’s Dr Jason Pallant and Beatrice Romano, AR has been gaining an increased importance in retail – with a compound annual growth rate expected to land around 135 per cent through to 2023.

“It’s clear why these technologies are gaining interest from both consumers and retailers,” the pair wrote recently for Inside Retail.

“The opportunity for shoppers to virtually trial products is an intriguing prospect, particularly in our current environment where some are still avoiding stores.”

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