Smart camera company Snap Inc. continues rolling out new augmented reality (AR) features on its Snapchat visual platform.
The company is rolling out a new suite of AR content creation and shopping tools aimed at social commerce, including several that further build upon its Lens platform. These include a dedicated destination on Snapchat called "Dress Up" that lets users try on clothes (virtually).
In May 2021, Snap introduced a number of AR-based shopping features including API-enabled Lenses, which are virtual animations overlaid on a Snapchat photo. Snap also updated the Snapchat Lens Studio desktop application with a number of advanced tools, such as Connected Lenses, which lets consumers interact together in real time.II
The new Dress Up feature is available in the Lens Explorer discovery tool ( and will soon to be placed one tap away from the camera in the Snapchat AR Bar). It allows shoppers to virtually browse, try on and share new outfits. They can also return to favorite outfits and accessories by navigating a new shopping section within their Snapchat profile where they can locate products they have favorited, recently viewed and/or added to their cart. Any brand’s lenses will be considered for Dress Up if they’re available on their brand profile.
In addition, new AR shopping templates are now available in the Lens Web Builder tool. The templates enable brands to import assets and quickly create catalog shopping Lenses, without needing in-house AR development skills.
These new Lens features are available now in a beta test for select Snapchat partners. Participating apparel, eyewear, footwear and beauty brands can build virtual try-on and visualization experiences using their AR-ready assets as part of this pilot.
Snapchat is also expanding into surface objects for categories like furniture and handbags, where a new template enables any 3D model to be virtually placed on the floor or tabletop in the camera viewfinder, allowing Snapchat users to explore an item in more detail or see how it fits in their space.
And the new Camera Kit for AR Shopping is a software development kit (SDK) that lets retailers include Shopping Lenses in their product detail pages. This, in turn, enables customers to use AR functionality to try on or visualize products directly from their own devices.
Global footwear brand Puma is leveraging Camera Kit for AR Shopping to let customers digitally try on sneakers. Camera Kit for AR Shopping currently works across Android and iOS, and will soon work on websites.
New AR creation suite
The new suite of AR creation tools aimed at retailers selling products via Snapchat includes 3D Asset Manager, a web content management platform that enables businesses to request, approve, and optimize 3D models for any item in their shopping product catalog. Through asset-sharing capabilities, retailers can utilize approved 3D models from brands already included in Snap’s asset management system.
New AR image processing technology, developed by Snap’s computer vision and graphics subsidiary Forma, allows businesses to turn existing product photography they have produced for their e-commerce websites into turnkey, AR-ready assets for Snapchat AR try-on Lens experiences. Through this technology, shoppers can virtually try on outfits by taking a full-body selfie.
To use AR image processing, a company uploads its existing photography for product SKUs. The product photography is processed with a deep-learning module that transforms a retailer’s photography into AR image assets. Companies can then select SKUs with AR image assets to create try-on Lenses using new templates in a streamlined web interface.
“Shopping on and off Snapchat is incredibly easy and fun for both brands and shoppers,” Snap said in a corporate blog post announcing these new AR features. “We can’t wait for people everywhere to try these new experiences on for size.”