Fresh from the back latest earnings report, which has shown strong growth in both users and revenue, Snapchat is now seeking to maximize its investment in the next phase of interactivity, acquisition of 3D mapping platform Pixel8Earth, which will provide new capacity for Snap ‘s advanced AR capabilities.
Pixel8earth is a “constantly updated map” that combines ground and air data into one model, facilitating the creation of 3D spatial overlays of landscapes and structures
As you can see from this example, after taking a series of video inputs, the Pixel8Earth system can then combine different feeds into a single card.
This video gives a better overview of its application on external structures.
The tool basically uses digital video content, recorded from multiple sources, to build more holistic perspectives of real-world scenes. And based on that, Snapchat will not only be able to facilitate the expansion of the Pixel8Earth project, through a camera in its own application, but will also be able to use that mapping to extend its AR tools, such as its evolving digital art installations And it is Landmarker lenses.
This new form of digital interactivity, which only exists within Snapchat’s own AR area, already provides new powerful ways for Snapchatter to interact within the app.
Take, for example, Snapchat’s ‘City painter‘collaborative AR project, which is now active on Carnaby Street in London.
As you can see in the video, the project basically allows users to interact with the AR overlay of the actual location. Users can virtually capture whatever they want across stores and streets, and each person’s contribution is then visible to any other Snapchatter visiting the site.
So far, Snapchat has launched only one activation of City Painter, as it requires significantly detailed location mapping to work effectively. But the purchase of Pixel8Earth could greatly expand its capacity on this front, which could make it easier for app users to take on a whole new world of interactive experiences – literally.
Of course, Snapchat probably also saves other plans for these advanced mapping tools, including additional AR applications, interactive tools (like digital cartoons that respond to the environment and are only visible through a Snap camera) and potentially, more data is needed built into his developing AR project Spectacles.
Snapchat has not yet officially confirmed that it is developing a new variant of its AR-enabled Spectacles smart glasses, but insiders have reported that work on the project is significantly advanced, at least in terms of testing early prototypes with development partners.
3D mapping could help Snap provide more accurate overlays for eventual AR vision, which could make Snap’s AR glasses more functional and useful in a wider range of situations.
We’ll have to wait and see where Snap goes with it, but it’s another acquisition for the growing app as it continues to work on the next phase of digital interactivity.