Home Computer graphics How Snapchat is getting a head start on an AR future

How Snapchat is getting a head start on an AR future

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Snapchat has always been a leader in AR, and now it’s creating experiences for the future when technology advances enough to make AR glasses a reality.

Snapchat gets a head start on an augmented reality future by giving developers early access to its advanced AR glasses that the company simply calls “new” or “next-gen” glasses. Using the capabilities of this new AR platform, games and experiences are being created now for the future enjoyment of users when this technology becomes more widely available.

The social media giant has always led the way in personal variety AR, with Snapchat Lenses being among the first to bring advanced face-tracking technology to the masses. Being able to “wear” infographics decoratively like makeup, jewelry, and clothing would have been unheard of in the early days of the smartphone. It would have required the most powerful computers or analysis and rendering that would take days. Core AR functionality has advanced so rapidly that the next steps that bring it into daily life are slow by comparison.

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A recent Snapchat demo video on YouTube highlights further advancements to come. Using VoiceML, the user can ask their AR glasses for things, and they will magically appear in their view. Since manual tracking is possible, interaction with these virtual constructs occurs as with real objects by holding them out and touching them. Unfortunately, users cannot feel them at this time. However, additional hardware can provide haptic feedback to simulate touch and improve realism. While most AR research by Meta, Google, and Apple currently takes place in the lab, Snap is involving more people by inviting creators to start developing with its next-gen glasses. That’s why Snap seems to be moving faster than other companies in creating AR experiences rather than waiting for hardware to be perfected.


Public launch of next-generation eyewear


Someone wearing the new 2021 Snapchat glasses

There have been enough teasers of Snap’s next-gen Spectacles to make some shoppers impatient. However, continued delays could lead to disappointment and doubt that they will ever arrive. After all, the first version of Spectacles was released in 2016, the second in 2018, and the third in 2019. Now three years have passed without any updates available to the public.

Indeed, the “new” glasses are only available to a few hundred developers and creators who have applied to be testers of this new technology which is not quite ready for everyday users. It’s Snap’s first sunglasses-like device with AR capabilities that currently require an iPhone or Android phone. Packing so much technology into a lightweight pair of AR glasses that lasts several hours and is rugged and reliable enough for the average user is still a few years away. Waiting, Snapchat actively working on AR content and experiences to be ready for the fun and exciting future that has yet to come.


Next: Ray-Ban Stories Vs. Spectacles 3: Are Facebook or Snapchat glasses the best?

Source: Snapchat/YouTube

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