News: Popular App Shazam Trying to Cash in on the Trendiness of AR with Hiring of New CTO

Popular App Shazam Trying to Cash in on the Trendiness of AR with Hiring of New CTO

While it remains unknown how exactly augmented reality will make its way into the mainstream (the Microsoft HoloLens sitting at $3,000 isn't exactly accessible), many brands have been trying to integrate the tech into their mobile apps, mimicking the success of Snapchat and its popular AR filters. One of those brands going all in on augmented reality is Shazam.

Shazam, the extremely popular app with over a billion combined downloads on iOS and Android, can help identify what song is currently playing in the background.

Over the past year, they began pivoting their business towards AR. They launched AR-powered Shazam Codes and partnered with Snapchat so that Shazam was available in-app to identify songs from Snap stories. Now they've hired Richard Sharp as Chief Technology Officer to help take these AR ambitions to the next level.

Shazam Codes in action. Image via Shazam

While researching for his PhD at Cambridge University, Sharp worked on many of the "same AR concepts that Shazam has recently been exploring," according to Business Insider. As he told Business Insider, he plans to use Shazam's "goldmine of data [on] how the world interacts with music and . . . physical products," to further enhance their use of AR.

Sharp has emphasized that AR is a priority for the company, saying in an interview with Computer Weekly, "We are the world leader in music recognition. The company recently extended its platform with augmented reality. We have to ensure we are right at the forefront."

As competition in AR is only on the rise, it'll be interesting to see if Shazam can accomplish that. So far, the reaction has been virtually universally positive, or, as Snapchat CEO Rich Riley told Business Insider, it's "[t]he opposite of a troll."

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Cover image via Shazam

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