Lens Fest 2021: Celebrating the Snap AR Community

This morning we kicked off Lens Fest, the annual celebration of our global AR community. We welcome everyone to join us virtually for sessions over the coming days.

We’re delighted by this engaged and highly technical community. For years, our creators have shared our belief in the power of AR and its ability to improve the world we all live in. Together, we’ve been building remarkable experiences that have evolved the way Snapchatters play, learn, explore, shop, and even make art. 

Today, we announced there are over 250,000 Lens Creators from more than 200 countries and territories. They include developers, brands, and partners who leverage the power of the Snapchat Camera and our tools like Lens Studio. Their pace of development is incredible. They’ve made more than 2.5 million Lenses that have been viewed by Snapchatters now more than 3.5 trillion times. And over 300 creators have reached more than a billion views on one of their Lenses. With Snapchatters playing with AR an average of more than 6 billion times per day, we want to continue helping Lens Creators push the boundaries of what’s possible through the Snapchat Camera. 

We also highlighted new, advanced capabilities for Lens Studio and our next generation Spectacles, and more ways to help creators build their careers and businesses on the Snap AR platform:

Lens Studio

All Lens creation starts with Lens Studio, whether designed by our community or our team at Snap. From there, Lenses can be featured across Snapchat, Snap Camera, Spectacles, or into other apps through Camera Kit. 

Over the last year, we’ve taken some of the most innovative technologies developed by our team at Snap, and brought them to Lens Studio. Features like garment and skin segmentation, 3D Body Mesh, and VoiceML have already given AR creators and developers brand new capabilities to build more engaging, realistic, and accessible experiences.

Starting today, now creators can build with:

  • A New Sounds Library -- Creators can add Snapchat’s licensed music and audio clips to their own Lenses, choosing from millions of songs. 

  • Real-World Physics -- AR elements appear and react more realistically to forces of physics like gravity and collisions. 

  • World Mesh -- Any creator can use depth information and world geometry understanding to create experiences that look and feel more like they’re part of the real world, previously only possible with higher end devices, making Lenses like the below Matrix world possible 

  • API Library for Real-Time Data -- Smart and useful Lenses are easier to create with real-time information pulled from other sources, from the U.S. stock market, to weather data. We’re starting with APIs from partners including FTX, Alpaca, Accuweather, and iTranslate.  

And coming soon, creators will be able to make Custom Landmarkers, transforming local landmarks into AR attractions. All it takes is a mobile device with a LiDAR Scanner to map the area and create a 3D model to bring into Lens Studio. We’re excited to soon hand over our Landmarker mapping technology and let creators turn more of the world—from statues to storefronts—into their canvas.

Resources and Monetization 

We’re continuing to find ways to support our growing creator community and their big ideas. 

A new Lens Call-To-Action feature lets creators include a link within a Lens, making it easy to drive Snapchatters to a destination like a shop. Our Gifting platform allows Snapchatters to support and send their love to Lens Creators through Story Replies. And, Ghost, our AR innovation lab, is accepting new applications on a rolling basis. Developers and small teams who want to explore the technical and creative possibilities of AR can apply and receive a grant of up to $150,000 for each project, as well as support directly from the Snap team. 

Spectacles

We introduced Spectacles over five years ago as a fun, hands-free camera designed to help capture your perspective and stay in the moment. Since then, we’ve taken an iterative, public approach to improving each generation and learning alongside the community. Now, our next generation Spectacles (with AR display) have helped creators make hundreds of Lenses that bring new perspectives to things we do everyday: 

  • Learn -- See the effects of global warming first hand with Save the Reef by Visionaries 777. Or, travel through time to experience Boston’s history right where it happened in an AR History Lesson by Yusuf Omar and Lauren Cason. 

  • Shop -- Try on AR clothing with Exodus by Damara Ingles, and imagine eating at a restaurant with a menu that comes to life with AR Menu by Brielle Garcia. 

  • Experience Art -- Interact with three-dimensional art to unlock new soundscapes in The Door by Heather Dunaway Smith. Or, visit an art gallery in AR with BlackSoul Gallery by Leighton McDonald. 

  • Play Games -- Run through a playful obstacle course hands-free with Monke Racing by Lucas Rizzotto. Or take care of your very own pet called Rocket Cat by Wabisabi. 

We’ve been listening to the feedback from the creator community, and from those insights, we’ve already developing advanced, new capabilities that creators can tap into:

  • Connected Lenses -- These experiences make it possible for multiple people to share the same Lens with others in the same space on Spectacles. 

  • Location Triggers -- If you choose to enable location, Lenses can adapt based on a specific GPS radius, so experiences can be customized based on location.

  • Endurance Mode -- This feature lets Lenses run longer by turning off the display in between interactions with the Lens. 

If you’re an AR creator looking to explore the potential of immersive AR, let us know

With so many people turning their attention to the future of immersive computing, we’re thrilled to celebrate our vibrant, global Lens Creator community who are already building the future of augmented reality on the Snap AR platform.

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