American in Spain

Snapchat AR Fun

April 19, 2017

Snapchat AR RainbowYesterday, Snapchat, who is really kicking ass lately in the selfie-camera augmented reality tricks, where they can virtually put a hat on you, or makeup, or facial hair, etc., has released some new augmented reality trickery, but for the front-facing camera, so that you can place virtual objects into scenes, move them around, and they will appear to remain in the same physical location as you move your phone. We are just cracking the surface of this sort of technology. It seems inevitable that we will someday be wearing lightweight glasses that can display virtual objects and information that will appear, to our brains, to exist in the physical world. I first wrote about augmented reality way back in 2009, literally the day before my daughter was born, and again in 2012.

Unlike with the manufacture of physical items, once you put in the effort to create a 3D model, there is no limit to the number of copies you can sell at no additional cost. I foresee a marketplace of virtual stuff that you can throw into your videos for fun. Some will be free and branded, of course – imagine dropping the robot protagonist of a summer blockbuster into your living room. Heck, why not celebrities themselves, like a virtual Madame Tussauds™?

On my sunny walk this morning, I played around with some of the initial AR tricks available in the Snapchat app. Still flawed, but pretty cool, huh?

The confetti is the Barcelona colors, an effect specific to my geographic location.