(Reuters) – Snap Inc. will introduce new features to make it easier for brands to build an augmented reality shopping experience on Snapchat and in-flight cameras, the company said on Thursday during its annual presentation on new technologies.
The company, based in Santa Monica, California, has announced the Pixy Pocket Camera, which can fly a few feet above its owner to take photos and videos before reaching the palm of its hand, thus updating the development of its hardware business. The Pixy will cost $ 230 and will sell in the U.S. and France, Snap said.
The theme of Snap’s Partner Summit was “Back to Reality,” reflecting the company’s focus on augmented reality (AR) over the past few years, which enhances photos, videos, or the real-world experience with computerized images.
“We think there’s a huge opportunity to create tools … that relate to what we see in front of us,” Bobby Murphy, founder and chief technology officer at Snap, said in an interview.
Snap will begin offering a variety of free services to AR developers, including data storage. Until now, photo filters and lenses had to be simple and compact so they could be loaded quickly into the program. With more storage, developers will be able to create a more sophisticated AR experience, Murphy said.
An augmented reality garden, for example, could include more 3D models of flowers and plants, he said.
Snap will also introduce a new Snapchat feature called Dress Up, which will allow users to browse AR shopping filters for hands-on testing of clothing and accessories.
Snapchat now has more than 600 million users worldwide each month, up from 500 million last year.
(Sheila Dang report in Dallas; edited by Will Dunham and David Gregorio)
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