From fun game experiences to more useful experiences, how AR is evolving: Interview with Snap’s Joe Darko


Snapchat has been one of the most popular social media and instant messaging apps for many years. A big reason why Snapchat has stayed in the public eye is AR lenses (filters) and of course, stripes. We all keep streaks, don’t we?

While the app’s AR Lens library is growing, not many people know that Snap, the parent company of Snap, has its own community dedicated to AR Lenses.

In fact, it has its own programs and solutions for aspiring creators and businesses. A while back, Snap partnered with Tiffany & Co., a US-based jewelry company, to offer an exclusive AR try-on experience of products from Tiffany’s catalogue.

Recently, it unveiled ARES (AR Enterprise Services) to provide AR solutions to enterprises.

Having said that, Snap appears to be serious about AR, with plans to maximize the use of the AR lens in both the consumer and business spheres.

At Techlusive we interviewed Joe Darko, Snap’s Global Head of AR Developer Relations, to find out more about Snap’s AR framework.

From Snap’s AR development to the creation of AR filters on its Lens Studio app, we’ve rounded up some key insights.

What does Snap’s AR landscape and ecosystem look like?

To get a clearer perspective of Snap’s focus on AR, we asked Joe to explain the company’s AR landscape and ecosystem.

“So we consider Snap AR to be a factor of products and programs. We have products like Lens Studio and Light Camera Kit.

Lens Studio is the AR platform that AR developers or creators use to create lenses for Snapchat and beyond. Light camera kits include products such as Snap’s Spectacles.

On the program side, Joe said that Snap has a lens network. The Snap Lens Network is a network of AR Creators, AR Developers and AR Partners who primarily use Lens Studio to create AR experiences, whether for business or for entertainment.

Then there’s the Ghost Program. “So think of it as a program that supports AR developers to push the boundaries of what’s possible in AR and create app-like experiences using Lens Studio.”

There’s also an Eyeglasses program, which gives developers a chance to take advantage of the Eyeglasses Dev Kit, which is Eyeglasses, to build AR experiences for future wearable devices.

How has Snap evolved in the AR space and what does the future hold?

Snap is growing rapidly in the AR space and so we asked about the evolution of AR and the future of AR at Snap.

“Eight years ago, we launched Lens, which is an AR product. And a lot of people on Snapchat, when they see a Snap, they think you know, AR right, because that’s where they got Dog ear filter was found.

“But now when you really look at it, all of these fun experiences are being elevated because of the capabilities of Lens Studio, which powers Snapchat. It’s not about fun experiences anymore. It’s about utility experiences. is about. So it’s moved from toys to products, fun play experiences to more useful experiences. And that’s the future of AR.

How is Snap AR helping consumers and businesses practically?

As AR has evolved from a playful experience to a more useful experience, we asked how Snap AR is helping consumers and businesses.

Joe replied that Snap provides its own SDK (Software Development Kit). The SDK brings Snap Camera to other apps, allowing businesses to bring AR experiences that benefit both consumers and businesses.

For example, Snap partnered with MyGlam, Sugar Cosmetics and Flipkart in India last year. With the help of Snap’s Camera SDK, buyers of MyGlamm and Sugar Cosmetics were able to get a try-on experience (albeit in beta).

So without receiving the products at home, shoppers were able to try out makeup products, which saved time and cost for the business (as there was no transit).

Flipkart also ran Campaign (Super Brand, Super Price, Super Fast) in partnership with Snap, where an AR filter was created that helped the e-commerce platform reach mass. It also helped Flipkart advertise its shopping app.

How does Snap AR differentiate itself from the competition?

Since Meta and other companies are also exploring AR capabilities, we asked how Snap differentiates itself from the rest of the competition.

“I want to touch base on three core or four core parts of Lens Studio and what really sets us apart from our competitors. So first and foremost is the AR capabilities of Lens Studio. To me, when we talk to AR developers from their point of view, Lens Studio has various capabilities and high-end features, which enable people to create AR experiences across multiple verticals, be it games, shopping, education and entertainment. use cases like , for example now one of our newest features is ray tracing.”

One of the many things Snap has done to differentiate itself from the competition and stand out is the ray-tracing feature for AR. Hopefully this will help AR gaming with the help of products like the Spectrum.

How big is the Snap AR community?

“We have nearly 300,000 manufacturers in our AR ecosystem making approximately 3 million lenses.”

Joe also said that the creator community is growing worldwide and indicated that many Indian creators are on the rise. He further added that Snap’s India AR creators community is set to grow by 60 percent in 2022.

Who can join Snap’s AR community and the Snap Lens Network (SLN)?

Almost anyone interested in Snap’s AR Filters or Lenses can start creating Lenses on the Lens Studio app. How easy it is for anyone to join Snap’s AR community.

Once someone starts creating lenses (filters) on Snap’s Lens Studio app, depending on the person’s skills, they may be able to join the Snap Lens Network (SLN).

“The Snap Lens Network is very much like a program that discovers who these top AR makers, developers, and partners in the ecosystem that we work with are.”

How can Snap AR community members monetize their work?

Snap AR community members can monetize their work, here’s how.

Jo said that Snap helps creators connect with businesses. So if there’s a project and you have the skills, which means you’re part of the SLN, Snap can connect you with a business to make lenses (filters) for them. This will let community members earn, basically a way to monetize their work.

What about AR products?

When asked about the product side of AR, Joe hinted at why the recent Snap Spectrum 4 isn’t commercial.

Joe said that Snap, behind the scenes, is testing the Spectrum 4 with developers to improve it. It seems that the company is testing its first generation AR glasses with developers and creators before making them commercial.

For the unversed, Snap’s Spectacles 1, 2 and 3 were all commercially available for purchase. However, the Spectrum 4 is not available and there seem to be no plans to make it commercial any time soon.

Notably, Spectacles 4 is Snap’s first AR glasses, all previous glasses only had the ability to take Snaps with the help of the in-built camera.

The post Fun Play More Than Useful Experiences How AR Is Evolving: The Interview with Snap’s Joe Darko appeared first on Techlusive.

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