Snap Inc., an American camera and social media company, announced a plethora of new features on its Snapchat platform during its annual Snap Partner Summit. Here is an overview of the highlights.
Lens Cloud is a collection of freely available backend services that extends what developers can create in augmented reality (AR). Storage services and location services will help unlock more dynamic, useful and interactive AR.
This feature allows interactive Lenses to be created by storing assets in Snap’s cloud and calling them on demand. Snapchatters can also resume sessions where they last left off without work disappearing
This service allows developers to anchor their Lenses in 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 models will be available later this year
Lens Studio will soon offer Ray Tracing. With Ray Tracing it will be possible to shine the reflections of AR objects in a more realistic way. According to the company, this is the first time a capability like this has scaled to mobile devices.
AR shopping news
Since last January, more than 250 million Snapchatters have engaged more than 5 billion times with Augmented Reality Shopping Lenses.
Snap is now introducing new technologies to improve the way brands can offer products to their customers via augmented reality:
Snap 3D Asset Manager:
This feature makes it faster and easier for businesses to create augmented reality shopping experiences. Brands can now request, manage and optimize 3D models for any product in their catalogs. Shopping Lenses can now be created in seconds at no additional cost.
Brands can create highly converting try-on experiences while ensuring minimal returns with Snap’s size prediction technology.
The company is launching a new type of shopping goal 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 go back to the products they love because Snap has made it possible to update users’ shopping preferences in profile settings. This will be the first space dedicated to fashion experiences on Snapchat.
Camera Kit for AR Shopping:
Snap is giving its business partners a new opportunity to bring the best of Snap’s Camera for AR Trial directly to their own apps and sites with the new Camera Bundle for AR Shopping functionality.
Camera Kit for AR Shopping is an augmented reality software development kit (AR SDK) that integrates Snap trial lenses into retailer and brand product detail pages to enhance the digital shopping experience. Camera Kit for AR Shopping works on 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 an immersive and personalized AR experience, available on Snapchat.
From Lollapalooza in Chicago to the Wireless Festival in London, festivals will be transformed with Snap AR, starting with Electric Daisy Carnival in May.
Snap announced a new feature allowing developers to add social experiences to Minis, which Snap introduced two years ago. Minis gives partners a way to use the company’s html5 gaming platform to create small social experiences in Snapchat.
Currently, there are over 20 Minis from partners such as HBO Max, Ticketmaster, Poshmark, and Headspace.
Minis private component system:
Developers can now add social elements to their experiences, such as reviews and ratings.
The company has rolled out new editing tools for its creators.
Dual mode editing tools:
New director mode editing tools available in Snapchat, such as the Dual Camera feature, allow users to use the front and rear cameras simultaneously to capture a 360° perspective.