The first annual Snap Partner Summit kicked off on Thursday in Los Angeles, and with it came some new products announcements, several of which enhance Snapchat's already robust augmented reality powers.
Among the new releases, the big standout is an interface change that the company calls the AR Bar, which will make it easier to access and interact with Snapchat's growing array of AR features.
Once you access the AR Bar, which is in the same area as the previous filters and camera interface at the bottom of the screen, you can begin using Snapchat's new Scan button. The Scan feature lets you access various AR experiences with just a long press of the screen.
Two features we already know about through previous, incremental updates. First is music discovery via Shazam (press and hold while a song plays to find out the song's name and artist). The other is product shopping via Amazon (press and hold the screen while pointing your camera at a product or product label to bring up an Amazon store link).
But now the app will also allow you to point the camera at math equations and have them instantly solved thanks to integration with Snap's new partner Photomath. The Scan feature will also allow you to point the camera at a wide variety of real-world scenes and objects and have gif suggestions pop up thanks to dynamically generated GIF Lenses from [https://giphy.com/ Giphy, another new Snap partner.
Along with those Scan features, Snap also announced Landmarkers, a new feature in the Lens Studio that allows independent Lens creators to develop AR experiences around specific landmarks.
Five Landmarker experiences are debuting at launch, which anyone can experience when visiting Buckingham Palace in London, England, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, the Flatiron Building in New York City, the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., and the Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. According to Snap, the experiences were developed using "point cloud data from user-submitted Our Stories of major landmarks."
The company also added other new templates to Lens Studio that will support hand tracking, body tracking, and, of course, pet tracking. All the Snapchat changes will be available in an update rolling out to users shortly.
Overall, these updates will primarily interest existing, hardcore Snapchat users, but when Snap debuts its AR smartglasses (remember that rumor?), these are all the kind of features that could make its AR wearable an instant hit.