Photography tools

Snapchat unveils drone camera, advanced AR tools and new business integrations at Partner Summit

Snapchat held its annual Partner Summit, where it announced a range of new tools and features, including advanced AR tools for e-commerce brands, improved systems to help more businesses create AR experiences, and a small drone called “Pixy” that will follow you everywhere and upload the video to the app.

Which is probably the best place to start – developed by Zero Zero Robotics, which Snap partnered with last year, Snap’s new $230 Pixy drone will fit in your pocket, making it easy to take anywhere with you.

As you can see in this clip, your personal Pixy drone will fly a few feet above you and capture both photos and video. When done, the drone downloads all its content to your Snap Memories, so you choose what you download on the app, or any other app by downloading the content.

It could start a new creative trend, although the price might be a bit high for a few custom shots. But it will undoubtedly see a level of adoption, and once those early examples start uploading, it could catch on quickly.

The Pixy drone will initially be available in the United States and France via Pixy.com.

Commerce is another evolving focus for Snap, particularly via AR, and the company has already partnered with a range of top brands to create real-world and digital apparel integrations, and develop the next stage of the product discovery.

Indeed, over the past year, Snap says some 250 million of its users have engaged with AR shopping lenses, using them more than 5 billion times.

Building on this, Snap is looking to make it easier to create AR experiences for brands, with new AR shopping templates in Lens Web Builder and a new image processing tool that will allow businesses to transform their existing product photography. into AR-ready assets to try Lens experiences.

Snapchat Try Lens

As you can see here, with this Snapchatters will be able to try on outfits digitally, taking a full body selfie and then scrolling through your options.

What users will be able to do in Snap’s “Dress Up” element, which will put more emphasis on its various shopping and trial tools.

Snapchat dress up mode

It’s a bit like Instagram’s Shop tab, but more advanced – and as more brands upload more of their products, it could become an increasingly valuable destination for product discovery in the app.

Snap is also developing another tool that will make it easier for brands to create fully digital versions of their products, with a new 3D asset management platform where brands can order or create 3D models of their products for the display in the app.

Meta is developing in a similar way, with the aim of providing more engaging and immersive product experiences and improving in-app purchases, while an extended benefit is that it will also allow Meta to add more items into its library of 3D models that creators can then include. in their Horizon Worlds VR creations.

Snap will also be looking at how it can use the same, which could see these 3D models play a part in its next AR Spectacles experience.

Whereupon he remains relatively silent. Various developers and testers are already experimenting with the Advanced Glasses, but Snap hasn’t shared anything new about the project since last March.

Although he shared this:

Ultimately, it’s Snap’s vision – which CEO Evan Spiegel noted, while subtly delving into Meta’s metaverse plans:

“Augmented reality is important because it combines the power of computing with what we see and experience right in front of us in the real world. It allows us to use computing in a familiar environment, integrating technology in a transparent in our lives.

In other words, you don’t have to lock yourself into a fully immersed VR environment to experience the best that Snap has to offer – which is arguably a good thing, as it’s unclear what the impacts are. negatives of a fully closed metaverse. experience can be over a long period of use.

I mean, social media can be quite harmful right now, and it can be hard to escape. You can only imagine it will be even worse when it’s all around you, taking your whole perspective.

On the creator side, Snap has also previewed its upcoming “director mode”, which will provide more advanced in-app editing tools, including dual camera controls so you can use the front and rear cameras at the same time. to create 360 ​​degree content.

This could actually lend itself to VR-like experiences in the app, via more immersive Lens experiences – although, as Spiegel notes, that’s not really Snap’s focus.

Meanwhile, on Lens Studio, Snap is also rolling out new tools and effects updates, including Lens Cloud, which will make it easier to store additional data to create larger AR experiences, and ray tracing which will render elements Even more realistic AR.

As you can see, there’s a lot going on in Snap’s creative tools, nothing entirely groundbreaking as such (like AR Spectacles would be), but some major developments in both directions, which will help Snap retain its advance in AR space.

Which is true, despite much better resourced rivals. Time and time again Snap has shown its talent in the market which has allowed it to beat other apps, and while Meta and Apple are also building AR experiences, there’s no saying Snap won’t continue to win here, by sheer ingenuity and understanding of the market, which is already propelling it forward.

Finally, in addition to its product updates, Snap has also shared new usage insights that further underscore its growing reach and influence.

The app now reaches over 600 million monthly active users, up from 500 million reported in May 2021, while Snap also serves over 332 million daily active users, as it recently shared in its update. day of the first trimester.

Snapchat first quarter results

By comparison, Twitter, which is generally considered more influential, has 217 million daily assets – so Snap has more than 100 million more users than the platform soon to be owned by Elon Musk.

Of course, some of Twitter’s influence also depends on who uses it, with journalists, politicians and other important voices regularly sharing their thoughts, but even so, Snap’s size is worth highlighting, because it always seems to be an overlooked element.

On top of that, Snap says it now reaches over 75% of 13-34 year olds in over 20 countries.

Again, the importance of Snap should not be overlooked.

Overall, the presentation was a great showcase of Snap’s evolving tools and focus on augmented reality, which will keep it in good stead as we take the next step in digital connection.

Again, given concerns about virtual reality and the need to dramatically increase headset sales to ensure optimal adoption, augmented reality will no doubt be more influential in both directions, and the smart tools and integrations of Snap is already showing what’s possible, on multiple fronts, and before anyone else even gets close to that next step.