Snapchat have announced that it is launching a new augmented reality art platform alongside pop artist Jeff Koons and several others. The company is soliciting sign-ups from artists and will allow art to be pinned to specific locations around the world.
The feature will be rolled out using photos of Koon’s art placed in Paris, Sydney and Las Vegas and the company said that this idea was based on technology from Cimagine, an Isreali AR startup that Snapchat acquired in December. This is very similar to the dancing hot dog World Lens that gained 1.5 billion views.
Snapchat actually accidentally leaked its own launch via a strange art.snapchat.com URL that appeared featuring a countdown over a photo of Central Park. Using a time hack, you could trick the site to show when this surprise would be launched and although that has now been disabled, the information is available.
This now-removed YouTube video details the company’s partnership with Jeff Koons where we see him put one of his iconic balloon pop-art sculptures in New York’s Central Park.
When users are close to a nearby piece of Snapchat ART a special lens will be available. Then an indicator will direct them to where to look until the location marker is in frame, at which point they’ll see the AR on their phone. It’s yet to be confirmed whether the art will appear on the SnapMap.
“Discover Koons’s innovative digital installations scattered across the world to experience them for yourself, and learn a little more about them” Snapchat wrote on the leaked launch site. These digital installations will be available in New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Toronto, Sydney, London, Paris and Rio de Janeiro. There will also be a sign-up form for other artists to submit their own art to the platform.
This new feature could help Snapchat reinvigorate it’s user growth as competition from Facebook and Instagram Stories has become fierce. This feature has already been usd with stylized geofilters that encourages users to swipe after snapping to see if there are any cool filters in their location. If the launch goes well, it could see people flocking to locations in the same vein as Pokemon Go.