After announcing Local Lenses at its Partner Summit in June, Snap unveiled the first persistent, collaborative, and shared AR experience in London.
Snap announced its Local Lenses feature back in June, promising to turn the world into a digital canvas. Last week, the first experimental use of Local Lenses went live in London, UK.
The first Local Lens, called City Painter, is the first persistent, collaborative, and shared AR experience. It allows users to use the Snap camera to virtually spray paint colors and graffiti murals on Carnaby Street’s shops. Snapchat users can see others spraying and can battle each other to add their own colors and graffiti.
Related | How To Use Lens Web Builder To Create Snapchat AR Lens Campaigns
The choice of a central London shopping street wasn’t random, as Snap’s camera engineering team developed local Lenses in the city. The same team created a similar Landmarkers feature for the app. While Landmarkers is Snap’s first large-scale AR feature, it’s less complex than Local Lenses, as there is more 3D information available on world-famous landmarks.
To make City Painter possible, Snap’s team had to map Carnaby Street in 3D, to allow users to paint from various angles. To do this, the team took visual data from public Snaps of Carnaby Street shared by Snapchattters to get almost 360-degree camera imagery.
City Painter is also different from Landmarkers, as the experience is shared between users. Landmarkers is pretty much a solitary AR experience, whereas Local Lens is persistent and synched between users.
“We have a single shared reality,” explains Qi Pan, senior manager of research engineering at Snap London. “And when you do something to this world, someone else can see that result almost instantly. Those changes also persist if everyone leaves the experience, and new people pop up the next day – they can see the space that’s been altered by yourself and others.”
Snapchat is moving into AR fast, doing its best to democratize experiences and their creation. According to Snap, users have created over one million lenses using Lens Studio that have been played with billions of times. Currently, over 75% of Snap’s DAUs interact with AR each day. The ultimate goal? Well, as Pan explains, “We want the Snapchat camera to really understand and be intelligent about what it sees in the world.”
“We envisage doing new things that couldn’t be done before, for example, AR tours of neighborhoods guided by famous people who used to live there, leaving notes, photos and videos for your friends to discover later, or playing immersive AR games together with your friends, altering the shared digital space,” says Pan. “We’re also coming up to Halloween, in the future, we could imagine a total transformation of Carnaby Street to make it feel spooky.”
You might also like
More from Snapchat
Snapchat Introduces Shared Stories
Snapchat shared stories will let users who have been added to custom stories invite their own friends to contribute. Custom Stories …
Snapchat Partners With Ticketmaster To Launch New Events Map Layer
The new Ticketmaster Snap Mini will allow Snapchat users to find nearby events on the map, and tap on them …
Snapchat Introduces New Personal Safety ‘Live Location’ Feature
Snapchat is introducing a new way to keep track of where your friends are by seeing their real-time location on …
Snapchat Will Finally Let You Change Your Silly Old Username
Snapchat will now let you change your old username without compromising aspects of your account, like friends list, Snap codes, …
Snapchat Is Introducing Mid-Roll Ads In Snap Star Stories
Snapchat has announced the beta test of mid-roll ads in Snap Star Stories, a new monetization feature for creators.
Snapchat Unveils New AR Catalog-Powered Shopping Lenses
Snapchat has improved its AR shopping Lens offering by adding new Shopping Lenses that display details about products.
Snapchat Introduces New Emoji Polls, Bitmoji Reactions, And More
Snapchat is updating its app with new tweaks to personalize the in-app experience and make it more fun and engaging.
Snapchat Opens AR Christmas Market With Six Major Retailers
The holiday market will feature AR experiences from Coca-Cola, Hollister, Prime Video, Under Armour, Verizon, and Walmart.