AI meets AR: Snapchat unveils powerful tools for next-gen lenses

AI meets AR: Snapchat unveils powerful tools for next-gen lenses
Snap, the company behind Snapchat, has led the way in augmented reality (AR) for enhancing real-world photos and videos with digital effects. While smaller than competitors like Meta, Snap aims to attract new users and advertisers by offering advanced and imaginative special effects known as lenses.

Snap unveils AI tools for enhanced augmented reality

Snap has introduced its latest version of generative AI technology, enabling users to experience more lifelike special effects while filming with their phone cameras. This latest AI model will be coming soon to Snapchat. 

– Snap, June 2024

Moreover, Snapchat users can now incorporate AI-powered lenses created by AR developers into their content, thanks to the latest updates from Snap. Also, Lens Studio has been equipped with a new suite of generative AI tools, including an AI assistant designed to assist developers with any questions they may have.

There is also another handy tool that lets artists enter a prompt and generate a three-dimensional image automatically, sparing them the effort of starting from scratch to develop a 3D model for their AR lens.

Before, Snap’s AR tech could only handle simple effects like placing a hat on someone's head in a video. Now, thanks to these upgrades, AR developers can craft more realistic lenses. For example, these lenses can make the hat move naturally with the person's head and adjust to the lighting in the video seamlessly.

Snap has also partnered with London’s National Portrait Gallery to develop Lenses inspired by iconic portrait styles using the GenAI Suite. Snapchat users can select from a range of portrait-style Lenses, snap a photo, and share it on the museum’s “Living Portrait” projection wall.

Launching this new suite of AI tools is a strategic move for Snapchat, enhancing its competitive edge against rivals like Meta's Instagram and TikTok and possibly attracting more users. Both competitors are actively integrating AI into their platforms: TikTok has recently launched AI-generated digital avatars, while Meta has been heavily investing in AI and AR technologies over the past few years.

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