Snap Inc. launches two new ground-sensing World Lenses on iOS and Android.
Though advertised as a multimedia messaging app focused on user privacy, Snapchat has quickly established itself as one of the leading innovators in AR technology thanks to its ever-growing lineup of reality-warping World Lenses. What began as simple face filters and dancing hotdogs has rapidly evolved into an advanced AR platform capable of altering famous landscapes and even replacing the sky.
Yesterday, Snap Inc. launched two brand new World Lenses that are capable of tracking the ground and replacing it with AR visuals in real-time. Using machine learning technology, these “Ground segmentation Lenses” identify the floor and flood environments with either water or molten hot lava. You can even hop across a series of floating platforms, a feature 7-year-old me would no doubt be drooling over.
While the visuals are simple, both filters do a commendable job at tracking the ground as well as various structures and obstructions, such as walls, cars, and other large objects. The water even reflects real-world objects and people; a small but noticeable detail.
According to Snap, Ground segmentation lenses are “a natural evolution and next step for us in understanding what the camera can see and helping our community learn more about the world around them.”
Both the water and lava lenses were built using an internal version of Snap’s Lens Studio, a custom lens creation tool available free to both established developers as well as amateur enthusiasts. Snap hopes to one day include ground-sensing support as part of the public release, though I shudder to think what kind of bizarre scenes the community would inevitably concoct.
Both filters are available now on compatible iOS and Android devices. Simply download or update the latest version of the Snapchat app and access rear-facing camera mode, touch the center of the screen, and locate the filters on the lens wheel at the bottom of the screen; they should be the first two options on the right.
Image Credit: Snap Inc.