Heaven is the limit when it comes to augmented reality, but Snapchat's latest innovation keeps its AR platform well-founded.
On Thursday, the company published a few new lenses that emphasize its new ground transformation technology.  The first lens, appropriately named The Floor is Water, turns nearby flat surfaces into virtual water, with a wet floor sign anchored in the area to drive the point home. This specific effect is not welcome in my neck of the forest, where it seems to have rained throughout 2020.
The second lens, the meme-worthy The Floor is Lava, opens snatches of soil to reveal a river of molten magma . It is amusing that a warning sign also appears here.
According to a Snap spokesperson, the lenses are built with an internal version of Lens Studio, the company's AR creation desktop app. The ground transformation options are currently not available in the public edition of Lens Studio, but Snap could access them in the future.
In my short tests, the water effect is slightly less flexible than other proven AR capabilities on Snapchat, with the camera distorting some objects close to the floor. The lava version is much more convincing because of the design, because it leaves pieces of land in sight.
Both lenses are available in the AR carousel. Alternatively, users can scan the Snapcodes below to unlock the lenses. Readers on mobile devices can click on the links for The Floor is Wet and The Floor is Lava, respectively, to unlock the lenses in the Snapchat app for iOS or Android.
In recent years Snap has made a commitment to investors to maintain leadership in augmented reality. The company has delivered on its promise through continuous innovation in Snapchat & # 39; s mobile AR capabilities, from sound recognition, sky segmentation and hand-tracking to voice recognition and image and landmark tracking.
The AR innovations have paid off due to viral and heated user growth. For example, the Gender Swap and Baby Face Lenses have more than 200 million interactions within the first two weeks after release in the second quarter of 2019. And a Nike AR advertisement in the store caught the attention of Lebron James himself.
Maybe Snapchat & # 39; s latest innovation will inspire an AR revival of the # floorislava meme? Snapchat shareholders would probably not be fond of such virtual natural disasters.