The days of morphing your face and adding dog ears seem a distant memory, as the Snapchat launches its new “Custom Landmarkers” feature. Using the latest advancements in augmented reality (AR) technology and geotagging, could the instant messaging app have discovered the gateway to the ‘metaverse’?
Snap’s aim is to allow creators to craft AR experiences for local places they care about. Landmarkers also gives businesses and communities the opportunity to craft digital content around storefronts and key points of interest.
After being announced in December, this feature has been rolled out onto the mobile messaging platform. Users can find custom Landmarkers through physical Snapcodes shown at the landmark itself or through a Lens creator’s profile.
When crafting these unique Snap lenses, creators use the framework of a given area to digitally anchor content to a specific location. This serves as a trigger for future lens activation, that users can scan enabling Snap to recognise a specific place and tee up the appropriate lens.
These custom Landmarkers have the potential to enhance the way we explore, learn and shop locally. Hypothetically, a user could build an AR creation that teaches the history of a local landmark, or a business could pay a developer give their shop window a fun digital makeover.
The metaverse has been a runaway hype train with little grounding in near-term product reality. Despite the concept’s elusive nature, many tech firms are betting on the metaverse as an immersive area of the internet where users work, shop and socialise.
Although the metaverse has long been synonymous with virtual reality (VR), overlaying digital content onto the real world may prove to be a more accessible entry point into the digital realm. Instead of transporting the individual into a cyberspace, AR technology brings the digital to the individual; a far more convenient solution that omits expensive VR goggles and cumbersome motion-tracking equipment.
Smart glasses are considered to be the next big breakthrough for wearables that will filter into our daily lives. Most of the biggest names in technology are racing to create smart glasses that we wear everywhere and may replace our phones.
Snap sees the technology presented by their new “Landmarkers” as a key piece of its own road to smart glasses. The local AR effects look to be stepping-stones to how Snap is going to evolve its vision for wearable AR glasses, which currently exist in a developer-only prototype form.
Instead of pulling a phone out of our pockets, we may soon be looking through a pair of glasses to digitally interact with the world around us. Judging by the success of Snapchat as an application, it’s perhaps safe to assume that a device utilising their technology could become fully integrated with our day-to-day life.
At Cordis, we have already ventured into the realm of augmented reality. As official Snapchat lens creators, we employed AR technology to create COVID-safe activities during the pandemic to encourage footfall into stores while avoiding a high concentration of shoppers in any one location.
Utilising Snapchat and augmented reality themed characters to celebrate the Summer, Halloween and Christmas, we devised multiple ‘seek and find’ activities that shoppers could engage with throughout the opening hours of the park. The CGI graphics software, Blender, was utilised to craft computer-generated anthropomorphic creatures and for Halloween, spooky cartoon zombies. The designs were individually unique with actions and dance moves specific to each character.
Shoppers would seek out the themed characters in-store or on the grounds of the park. Participants were encouraged to create mini clips of themselves interacting with the animated creatures for a chance to win prizes and to reveal specific retail offers for those taking part.
Over the next decade, AR and VR are expected to be one of the driving factors behind sales and marketing innovation. Forward-thinking companies will be able to improve the experience they provide their consumers through AR, resulting in more business opportunities and sales.
If you’re ready to embrace the future – amalgamating both technology and creativity, get in touch with Cordis today.