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Topics include: Direct to consumer / E-commerce / Data & privacy / Martech

Snapchat quietly buys 3D face-scanning app Seene

Snapchat users might soon be able to snap 3D selfies, thanks to the company’s purchase of photo-based 3D capture software, Seene.

The messaging app secretly acquired the company several months ago for a "low" price according to a report from TechCrunch.

Seene lets users capture and record 3D objects in real-time using just an iPhone camera, removing the need for special depth sensors used by the likes of Google’s Project Tango or Microsoft’s Kinect.

Seene's team, which is currently split between the US and London, are reportedly poised to relocate to Los Angeles where Snapchat is based. However not all team members will make the move, with sources saying that at least one senior Seene engineer won’t be joining the image-sharing app.

Snapchat has yet to respond to reports of the purchase, and while it is not clear what its plans are for the software, there are multiple ways in which it could be integrated into the app – such as letting people send 3D selfies to their friends, or allowing brands to experiment with augmented reality filters for people to overlay on to their videos or photos.

Earlier this year, Snapchat was reported to be bulking up its AR and wearable divisions. The company hired staff from Microsoft’s HoloLens project and in 2014 snapped up startup Vergence Labs – known for making augmented glasses.

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