Soon Snapchat Lenses Will Recognise Landscapes as Well as Faces

Smithsonian Magazine
There's no end to the fun you can have with Snapchat lenses, new sets are released frequently and they keep getting weirder and wackier with each passing update. How do you improve on that? Move beyond faces, that's how. Snap Inc are currently working on a way to teach the lenses function to identify landscapes as well as faces.

You can already use effects which overlay across landscapes, but they don't intersect with them, which is what these will do. For example, you could point the camera at the coastline, only for a giant walrus to emerge from the water, or you could point it at a forest and a walrus could come smashing through the trees, or you could even have a walrus scaling the side of a building. The effects may not necessarily be walrus-based, but I feel like at least some of them should be.

Currently the function is being tested internally, and while that offers absolutely no bearing on when it'll come out, it does mean that it's actually in development, rather than being a ballpark idea which got out before ever actually being taken forward. One thing is for sure, it definitely falls in line with the kind of improvements Snap have been looking to make recently.

The main thing is, as always, advertising appeal. It's not always easy to promote a brand or product by making someone's face change, but landscapes open up a broad new avenue of possibilities. Imagine using it to advertise something like Kong: Skull Island, for example? I mean, you'll probably mainly just get a whole mess of different ways to turn a picturesque landscape into some weird augmented banner for Coca-Cola. Or something with walruses.

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