Snapchat doubles down on 3D tech with launch of World Lenses

Snapchat doubles down on 3D tech with launch of World Lenses

In the face of growing competition from Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat is stepping up its game with the introduction of World Lenses – a product that expands its augmented reality capabilities beyond selfies.

The feature is being rolled out within the messaging app from today onwards (18 April), affording users the chance to overlay pictures taken using the rear-facing camera with a series of 3D filters.

Snapchat is billing the Lenses as a tool which can add "whimsical spin" to real-world Snaps. The lenses can be placed in the camera view and it is possible to move and walk around them in three dimensions.

As with Snapchat's selfie Lenses, the overlays will be updated daily, and while there's no word yet on whether brands will get the opportunity to purchase from the reel, it's understood that Snapchat is working on ways to develop the tech so the camera is able to understand what objects it is placing filters around or on top of.

The focus on the rear-view camera comes as Instagram continues to ape many of Snapchat's unique front-facing features. Snapchat has said it plans to continue innovating experiences for users through both the read-facing and front-facing cameras.

Last year, the app's parent company rebranded to Snap Inc and unveiled a wearable camera product dubbed Spectacles. At the time, the firm's chief strategy officer Imran Khan made no secret of the upstarts ambitions to shake up the camera market.

Snap went public last month in an IPO worth $28.3bn.

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