With augmented actuality glasses getting closer to reality, AR appears set to take a significant leap in 2021, and Snapchat’s searching for to stay on the forefront of that subsequent stage, with the announcement of a brand new, $3.5 million AR creator fund to assist gas the subsequent developments in artistic AR use.
Snap made the announcement on the primary day of its Lens Fest AR developer conference, which is being held online, and is open to all this yr.
The brand new fund will be certain that AR creators have one other avenue to monetization, whereas Snapchat’s additionally trying to pair creators with manufacturers for extra progressive, immersive promoting experiences.
That may possible contain merging AR and eCommerce, which Snapchat’s already exploring. This yr, the corporate has launched a variety of recent AR purchasing options, together with new AR try-on campaigns and bar code and brand scanning options, which may also be used to set off AR experiences.
Snapchat’s additionally exploring new Bitmoji-based virtual clothing sponsorships, which might be one other technique to merge digital and real-world experiences.
Varied platforms are engaged on related, with Fb additionally trying to advance its AR tools so as to take the subsequent leap. However Snapchat has repeatedly confirmed its capability for innovation, in numerous kinds, which ought to put it in good stead to compete with the bigger tech gamers within the area.
The brand new creator fund will play a key function. In line with Snap, its creator-made lenses have already been seen greater than a trillion instances, with common customers in a position to construct their very own AR experiences through Snap’s Lens Studio app.
By opening up its AR instruments to the broadest pool of creators, Snap stands a greater shot at internet hosting the subsequent huge AR hit, whereas the corporate’s additionally sponsoring numerous new AR artwork initiatives and exhibitions to additional construct its creator ecosystem, and set up digital instruments as a brand new inventive outlet.
However there’s extra to its push than inventive expression and/or novelty worth. As explained by Sophia Dominguez, Snapchat’s head of digital camera platform partnerships:
“I feel 2021 goes to be a type of years through which we evolve augmented actuality out of this pure communication or social media use case, into issues that may truly make our lives higher in a much wider means.”
AR try-on instruments, aligned with the rise of eCommerce, are most likely probably the most rapid instance, however having the ability to scan bar codes and get product info is one other probably priceless use case, and as folks turn into extra habitually aligned to such behaviors, AR instruments will proceed to evolve, and probably change the way in which we collect info.
The subsequent step, then, is fully-enabled AR glasses. Fb says that it will launch its first AR wearable gadget subsequent yr, however Snap, as but, does not have a publicly communicated plan in place for a brand new, totally AR-enabled model of its Spectacles.
However you’ll be able to guess that it’s engaged on it, they usually could also be closer than many think. Anticipate AR to be a significant focus within the yr forward, and for Snapchat to be a key participant in that subsequent shift.
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