You don’t have to ask Santa for holiday-themed augmented reality experiences because practically every social and shopping app that offers AR effects has it available now.
Despite its relative ubiquity, a new set of seasonal AR lenses in Snapchat (iOS | Android) stand out, as they also showcase the app’s powerful machine learning chops.
For example, the family portrait lens takes advantage of the aging and gender change effects of the time machine and gender change lenses to create a virtual family based on your resemblance, with yourself, your opposite sex doppelganger, an older you and a baby who posed for you. for a Christmas card.
Meanwhile, the Santa’s Beard Lens takes the Time Machine concept and applies it to gradually transform you into Santa. Like Time Machine, a slider lets you shift your look to more and more Santaness. It’s just like that Tim Allen movie, but shorter and with less plot.
Finally, in more standard AR fare, the Ugly Sweater Lens overlaps a virtually ugly sweater with the greeting “Snappy Holidays” and a knitted face mask extension, as we should all be wearing masks.
All three experiences can be unlocked via the Snapcodes below or accessible under the Lens Explorer vacation category in Snapchat, while the Ugly Sweater Lens can also be seen in the Snapchat Lens carousel today.
Previously, Snapchat used its Landmarker Lens technology to virtually restore Big Ben for the holiday season of 2018.
Augmented reality plays a bigger role than ever in this socially distant 2020 holiday season as families around the world are dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic to varying degrees. AR-enhanced social and video apps can help families connect at a time when best health practices require limited personal interaction.
Additionally, Snap’s role in connecting families extends beyond Snapchat to desktop video conferencing services such as Zoom and Google Meet via Snap Camera, which can act as a virtual camera to add AR effects to video chats. If you haven’t yet done this magic trick, here’s a handy guide to get you started.
While the virtual video experiences pale in comparison to being physically present with friends and family, they provide a fair substitute when the real thing isn’t advisable for everyone’s safety.