Gen Z’s favourite social network, Snapchat, has announced a massive number of new features. While some of them deal with the UI (A contextual Action Bar), wellbeing (a tie-up with meditation app Headspace), integrations (Snap Minis, which let developers add mini HTML apps to Snapchat), and content (a string of new Snap Originals are on the way), there was also plenty of welcome news on the AR front as well:
New abilities for Scan
Snapchat has added new partners for its Scan feature – DogScanner and PlantSnap – which will let you identify 90% of known plant varieties and 400 dog breeds. Snapchat also revealed that a future integration with Yuka will let users get nutritional information by scanning food product labels. Brands will also be able to create new Snapchat experiences for users who scan their logo. Also new is ‘Voice Scan’ (in collaboration with SoundHound) which throws up Lens suggestions in response to voice commands
Loads of new AR stuff
Lens Studio, Snapchat’s AR lens creation application for designers and developers, receives a massive upgrade with the introduction of a new UI – and SnapML, which developers can use to harness their own Machine Learning models while creating new Snapchat Lenses. The addition of Face Landmarks and Face Expressions ought to enable more accurate facial tracking, while the new hand gesture and foot tracking templates should lead to better tracking and, hopefully, some fun Lenses! You’ll soon also see Snapchat AR in other apps thanks to Camera Kit, which will let developers integrate Snapchat Lenses into their apps. Then there’s Dynamic Lenses, which brings data from other apps into Snapchat.
One feature we’re pretty excited about is Local Lenses, which you can use to create a persistent, shared AR world in your neighbourhood. Along the same lines, Snapchat is adding popular listings (such as restaurants, cafes, popular sights) to its Snap Map, which will also combine data from Foursquare and TripAdvisor. US Snapchatters will also be able to order food via Postmates, DoorDash, and Uber Eats integration.