Snap Inc., a U.S.-based camera and social media company, announced a plethora of new features across its Snapchat platform at its annual Snap Partner Summit. Here’s a look at the highlights.
Lens Cloud is a freely available collection of backend services that expands what developers can build in augmented reality (AR). Storage Services and Location Services will help unlock more dynamic, useful, and interactive AR.
This feature makes it possible to build interactive Lenses by storing assets in Snap’s cloud, and call on them, on-demand. Snapchatters can also pick up on sessions where they left off last time without work disappearing
This service allows developers to anchor their Lenses into custom locations around the world. Users can also use Snap’s city templates. The first city is London and is currently available in Lens Studio, which allows users to create, publish, and share Lenses. More city templates will be available later in the year
Lens Studio will soon feature Ray Tracing. With Ray Tracing, it will be possible for reflections to shine from AR objects in a way that’s more realistic. According to the company, this is the first time a capability like this is scaling across mobile devices.
AR Shopping News
Since last January, over 250 million Snapchatters have engaged with AR shopping Lenses more than 5 billion times.
Snap is now introducing new technologies to enhance the way brands can bring products to their customers via AR:
Snap 3D Asset Manager:
This feature makes it faster and simpler for businesses to build augmented reality shopping experiences. Brands can now request, manage, and optimize 3D models for any product in their catalogues. Shopping Lenses can now be created in a matter of seconds at no added charge.
Brands can create highly converting try-on experiences while ensuring minimal returns because of Snap’s size prediction technology.
The company is introducing a new kind of shopping Lens for trying on outfits without having to change clothes, powered by its AR Image Processing Technology.
Available in Lens Explorer, Dress Up allows users to browse, discover, and share new looks from around the world. Snapchatters can return to the products they love because Snap has enabled the ability to update user shopping preferences in Profile settings. This will be the first dedicated space for fashion experiences on Snapchat.
Camera Kit for AR Shopping:
Snap’s offering its commerce partners a new opportunity to bring the best of Snap’s camera for AR try-on right to their very own apps and sites with the new Camera Kit for AR Shopping feature.
Camera Kit for AR Shopping is an augmented reality software development kit (AR SDK) that brings Snap’s try-on Lenses into retailers’ and brands’ product detail pages to enhance the digital shopping experience. Camera Kit for AR Shopping runs across Android and iOS and will work on websites soon.
Live Nation Partnership
Snap announced a multi-year partnership with Live Nation that will enhance performances at concerts and festivals through a custom-built, immersive AR experience, available on Snapchat.
From Lollapalooza in Chicago to Wireless Festival in London, festivals will be transformed through Snap AR, beginning with Electric Daisy Carnival in May.
Snap announced a new feature for developers to add social experiences to Minis, which Snap introduced two years ago. Minis offers partners a way to use the company’s html5 gaming platform to build bite-sized social experiences within Snapchat.
Currently, there are more than 20 Minis from partners such as HBO Max, Ticketmaster, Poshmark, and Headspace.
Minis Private Components System:
Developers can now add social elements to their experiences like reviews and rating ratings.
The company has rolled out new editing tools for its creators.
Dual Mode editing tools:
The new Director Mode editing tools available within Snapchat, such as the Dual Camera feature, lets users use the front-facing and back-facing cameras at the same time to capture a 360 perspective.