News: Snapchat's Body Tracking AR Tech Lends Hand for Organ Donation Education

Snapchat's Body Tracking AR Tech Lends Hand for Organ Donation Education

Sure, Snapchat AR Lenses can be fun, but they can help communicate complex issues as well.

While our Facebook news feeds were filled with references to 311 Day, March 11 is also World Kidney Day, the United Kingdom's National Health Service Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) used the occasion to educate its constituents about organ donation.

Utilizing the new body-tracking technology recently released in Lens Studio 3.4, the NHSBT published an AR experience that overlaid a rough map of the body's internal organs on individuals within the camera view to help educate the public on this often overlooked issue.

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

"Working with Snapchat to utilize this new body scanning technology is a really exciting opportunity for us," said Holly Mason, deputy head of organ donation marketing at NHS Blood and Transplant, in a statement. "We are constantly looking for new ways to raise awareness and get people talking about organ donation."

Along the left side of the camera view, users can tap on organ icons for more information. Leveraging Snapchat's Shoppable AR e-commerce tool, the Lens also includes a link to NHSBT's organ donation website, where users can register as organ donors.

Images by Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

On-screen instructions also ask users to add their own narrative to their recordings in order to persuade friends and family to consider becoming organ donors. A scaled-down version of the experience, keeping the organ overlay but losing the informational prompts, works on the front-facing camera as well.

The experience is available through Snapchat for iOS and Android. Scan the Snapcode below to try it out for yourself.

Image via NHSBT

"By educating younger generations on the importance of organ donation, we know they can lead the way for the future. Our research tells us that young people have the ability to become real changemakers, challenging and inspiring change within their wider family," said Mason. "We hope that the lens encourages and motivates people to have a discussion with their loved ones about organ donation and together we can save more lives."

Snapchat AR's propensity for fun and for profit is well-documented. But it's gaining traction as a means for communications around political and social issues as well. For example, the United Nations Environmental Programme used Snapchat to illustrate rising sea levels for Earth Day. Snapchat has also used its Landmarker technology as part of its Pride Month celebrations. With this latest interaction, it's becoming increasingly clear that Snap's AR solution is well suited to deliver not just fun, but meaningful educational outreach.

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Cover image via Tommy Palladino/Next Reality

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