Snapchat launches ray tracing technology for more realistic AR experience


Snap has introduced ray tracing technology to its platform to enable users to have a better Augmented Reality (AR) experience. Ray tracing technology is now available to developers in Lens Studio, helping them enhance “the realism of augmented reality experiences by reflecting light onto digital objects”. According to the company, the lenses that feature AR-based diamond jewellery, clothing and other products will look “ultra-realistic” with the new technology.

Snapchat — which had 363 million daily active users by December 2022, according to a Statista report — with more than 500 million monthly active users — will let brands create more engaging AR lenses by using ray tracing to enhance lighting effects. Tiffany & Co. is the first brand to use ray tracing technology on Snapchat with the new Tiffany Lock lenses. The new lens lets customers try on Tiffany Lock bracelets using AR. If they like the product, they can buy the bracelet directly without leaving the app.

The new ray tracing feature is now available on Snapchat for both Android and iOS. It is also available for users in India.

According to Sensor Tower, India is one of the markets with over 100 million monthly active users. In August last year, Snapchat launched its own subscription-based service called Snapchat+. The paid version, which costs Rs 49 per month, brings with it exclusive and experimental features for non-subscribers. “India is an important market for Snap, and investment in app localization has been critical to our growth in the region,” said Lakshya Maloo, interim market development lead at Snap.

As part of the subscription, Snapchat+ users gain access to about half a dozen additional features. They can pin someone on their profile as their best friend, change the app icon, and revisit the indicator for how many people are rewatching Stories. The subscription also brings the ability to follow ghost trails on the Snap Map so they can follow the general direction of their friends, provided location sharing is turned on.

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