Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Snap is launching augmented-reality mirrors in stores


“Our goal is to help people use their time more efficiently in the world, rather than immersed in the virtual world,” says Bobby Murphy, Snap’s chief technology officer.

The AR mirrors were first tested at Nike’s Williamsburg location in New York, allowing customers to virtually try on Nike clothing and receive discounts by playing AR games. The test was deemed a success, and Nike is now deploying the technology in more stores across the US.

AR has driven Snapchat filters and lenses (the company’s term for its in-app AR experiences) for years, but these additional uses of the tech create a potential revenue stream for Snap outside of the social media platform’s app.

Last month, Snap launched AR Enterprise Services, or ARES, selling its AR technology to brands so they can use it in their apps, websites and stores. The AR mirrors at Nike and Men’s Wearhouse are part of that ARES initiative.

Today, Snap said it’s also launching a range of AR vending machines in the coming months in partnership with Coca-Cola. When customers wave their hand at the machine, it will open a “portal” where they can receive soft drinks, check out merchandise, earn rewards and play games, all controlled by hand gestures. It happens.

Snap is also rolling out new AR capabilities to its Snapchat app for 16 live music festivals this summer, including Bonnaroo in Tennessee, Governors Ball in New York, and Lollapalooza Paris. Audience members will be able to use an AR compass and 3D map inside the app to navigate around the festival. And a set with DJ Kygo, also due this summer, will feature exclusive viewings only viewable via AR.