Snap’s Lens Studio App lets you make your own AR animations!

Snap releases Lens Studio, a tool for creating your own AR effects - The Verge

If you are a Snapchat user, you would agree that the Snapchat’s Lenses is the best thing about the app. You can add amazing AR filters and elements to your pictures and share with friends.

Till now, the Augmented Reality filters in the app were limited, but now the Snap has introduced an AR animation creation tool, called Lens Studio App, which will encourage people to create and share their own AR filters.

Do you know? Snapchat is the first company to introduce Augmented Reality lenses to the public.

Lens Studio App for AR Creation

Create Your own AR animations with Snap's Lens Studio App

Lens Studio desktop app is the simpler version of what Snap’s own team is using for creating AR filters. It is free to download for Mac or Windows, and easy to use.

In Lens Studio, one can design static or animated objects, 2D cutouts, floating picture frames, windows to the other world, 3D objects and much more. These filters and objects can be seen using the rear camera in Snapchat and react when you tap, look at or approach them. Isn’t it interesting?

Making AR has never been easier - Lens Studio by Snap Inc.

The Augmented Reality filters you create are firstly verified by Snapchat’s moderators to ensure that they are not related to weapons, stereotypes, violence, nudity, hashtags, hatred, violence or some illegal activity. Once verified, you get a Snapcode which you can share with the other users via social media, print materials, website, or other means.

The users can scan the code and use the Augmented Reality filter for next 24 hours. This time limitation to use a snapcode is expected to be discouraging for the overuse of a particular lens, limiting the burnout among the developer’s friends and viewers. However, it is an opportunity for the developers to update their code and provide a better user experience.

“This has been an amazing year for AR as a technology,” says Eitan Pilipski, who leads Snap’s camera platform team. “We are really excited to take this AR filters tool, and make it as simple as possible for anyone using Snapchat.”

Snap has partnered with seven AR development companies to build ‘world lenses’ for the rear-facing camera and ‘face senses’ for selfie camera, namely Media MonksAvatar LabsTriggerFishermen LabsNorth KingdomHaus, and VidMob. Besides this, the company has said that the regular users would be facilitated with the opportunity to develop AR face filters, though no definite timeline is mentioned.

Snap Simplifies Lens Studio with 'No-Code AR' Tools & New Templates, Invests $3.5 Million in AR Development « Next Reality

Snapchat is also looking forward to initiating various Lens Studio challenges, where they will offer rewards to AR app developers who create Lenses as per the proposed theme or use case. Right now, it is assumed that the recognition will be given on the new Lens Studio website. However, it can be expected to be switched to the Snap’s app to drive developer’s interest in the platform.

The release of AR animation creating tool is supposed to be not limited to hobbyist or developers. Rather, it is expected to be great medium for the companies to advertise their products/services. It’s also taken into an acknowledgement that the Snapchat has experienced a fall in its user engagement, and has introduced this feature to remain in the competition; there’s no proof that offering World lenses to everyone around will put Instagram on notice.

How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming the Mobile Economy

How Artificial Intelligence is transforming the Mobile Economy

Artificial Intelligence is continuing to be a buzzword in the market. Everyone is discussing over virtual assistants, chatbots and self-driving cars, and are putting their ideas and thoughts around it. It has become one of the highest searched topics on the Internet, with the involvement of various reputed entities across the globe investing their time, efforts and money into the technology. According to the latest report, Alphabet put around $30 billion for unleashing AI technology, while Baidu has invested nearly $20 billion in the technology last year. Not just this, the China government is also focusing on AI development with the perspective of controlling the future cornerstone innovation. With all these things into consideration, it can be easily said that the business world is progressively turning towards Artificial Intelligence, and we will see various significant changes in the industrial world in 2018. While AI is bringing the next revolution in various business verticals, including healthcare, finance, education and travel, the most significant change is in the mobile economy. The technology is disrupting the mobile app industry, paving a new way to meet the users’ expectation and reap the benefits of app development.

Curious to know how will AI transform the mobile market?

Here are the 7 ways AI is Reforming the Mobile App Industry in Terms of User Engagement and Developer App Revenue

1. Better Conversational Experience

How Artificial Intelligence is transforming the Mobile Economy

Artificial Intelligence is filling the gap between the consumers and brands. The technology, in the form of Chatbots, is offering exceptional conversational experience to the customers. It is not only managing multiple clients at a time but is also proving to be the right solution for satisfying their needs with personalized products/services. According to a survey, 95% of smartphone users feel that customer service has been improved with the inception of chatbots. Another survey revealed that 15% of users have communicated with a bot in the past 12 months, while 35% of customers wish to see more companies investing in chatbot development. In addition to these, it has been expected that 80% of businesses will employ bots by 2020.

This clearly defines that AI/Chatbots are here to stay for a long, and disrupt the market in a positive way.

2. App Personalization

How Artificial Intelligence is transforming the Mobile Economy

By integrating AI into their mobile apps, developers and brands are able to facilitate personalized experience to their users.

Apps will trace the user’s location and provide location-based results automatically; the user need not enter the location every time. Secondly, the technology will let the brands gather in-detailed information about customers via different means, such as online traffic, mobile devices, PoS machines, etc. The collected data along with the recorded user behavior will be further used to provide personalized results. This will improve the user retention rates. Besides, the mobile applications will let the user enjoy exceptional services without making many efforts. For example, Starbucks AI-powered app, My Starbucks Barista allow customers to place an order by just speaking the product they want.

On a larger scale, AI will revamp the search algorithm, shifting focus to richer contextual and personalized app experience.

3. Seamless Search Experience

How Artificial Intelligence is transforming the Mobile Economy

AI is streamlining the user experience by empowering them to make their searches not only via text but also through images and voice. In fact, the technology is also enabling them to make searches in their natural language. This has taken the mobile app experience to the next level, by making it necessary for the app developers to integrate image recognition, voice recognition, and app localization features into their mobile apps.

4. Onboard Experience and Gamification

Gamification: Top 5 Key Principles | by Peter K | UX Planet

Nearly 25% of app users never return to the app after the first try. To minimize these numbers, app developers are turning towards AI. The technological effort understands human psychology and enables the UI/UX designers to design accordingly. It prevents users from memorizing all the details by securely storing with it, which indicates AI is enhancing the app usability. Besides, it let the users have access to various in-app gestures, which turns their app experience to be more enticing.

5. Improved App Security

Here's A Short Guide On Improving Your Mobile App Security in 2021

AI technology will cater the biggest concern of mobile app developers, i.e, security. With parallel technologies like Predictive Analysis and Machine learning, the technology will help in making predictions related to app security and vulnerability levels. The technology will keep an eye on the user behavior pattern and alert is anything suspicious is found. Not only this, the technology will also recommend or implement changes to improve the security of the app. It will also introduce new ways of logging into/out of the mobile application.

In addition to evaluating and implementing improvements in the security mechanism, the Artificial Intelligence technology will also let the app developers find potential security “holes” and “backdoors”, reducing the risk of intruder attack by employing these security leakage points.

6. Enhanced App Marketing

31 Powerful Mobile App Marketing Strategies to Implement

Not only the app development and engagement, the Artificial Intelligence will also refine the app marketing scenario. The AI-enabled machines and apps study the market trends and user behavioral pattern to provide real-time, detailed demographics. By this, these machines and apps not only cut down the efforts of marketers in gathering data but also reduces the chances of an error. By serving with real-time data, the technology enables the marketers to make marketing strategies with a futuristic approach. This improves the conversion rates and sales.

According to a Gartner Research, 30% of companies will employ AI for sales by 2020, which defines investing in AI to be the need of the hour.

7. AI and IoT

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Internet of things (IoT) for a Better Future

AI is also playing a pivotal role in the growth of IoT. The technology enables the connected devices to collect real-time data and take a decision on their own. In other words, AI-powered mobile apps empower connected devices to learn from the information exchange pattern and act accordingly.

According to statistics, there will be more than 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020, which means a higher demand for AI apps to control these devices.

Artificial Intelligence technology is slowly and gradually revamping the mobile economy with its potential to collect real-time data, understand human emotions and provide a personalized experience. And now, with the announcement of AI chips in the 5G smartphones, the future of the mobile economy is going to be more intelligent and interesting.

Augmented Reality is Transforming the Retail Industry

What is augmented reality, anyway?

The Augmented Reality market has grown so colossal that predictions estimate its value to reach $61.4 billion by 2023. AR has permeated into (almost) every field which includes healthcare, gaming, entertainment, retail, digital marketing, education, utilities, et al.

When we narrow it down to Augmented Reality in retail, Wikitude approximates that 32% of shoppers are regular users of AR and 73% of smartphone AR users are highly contented with the experiences. Such Augmented Reality retail statistics prove how the market has accepted the technology and is exponentially growing with its help.

But before we move on to that, let’s have a basic understanding of what the disruptive technology constitutes.

  1. A quick explanation of what AR is
  2. The problem with traditional retail marketing
  3. How augmented retail solutions changed the game
  4. Brands that are innovating with AR
  5. What is the future of AR in Retail

Explanation of what AR is

Augmented Reality In Business: How AR May Change The Way We Work

If you haven’t heard of Augmented Reality or AR by now, then this article should help you to creep out of the rock you’ve been resting under. Keeping aside technical nerd talks, the best way to understand AR and what are its benefits by examples.

You might have seen people picking up their phones and walking in search of funny li’l creatures via the Pokemon Go app or making themselves dogs, ghouls, fairies, superheroes and whatnot with TikTok? Yes, that’s AR. It’s basically a superimposition of CGI (Augment) on your phone screens which appear lifelike hence, the term Reality is used.

The problem with traditional retail marketing

Flower Markets In India | Flower Main Markets | Times of India Travel

Earlier marketing forms needed a makeover with time as so many technological developments and demand and supply for goods were increasing. Retail shops grew bigger, more people flogged in and the system became more organized. Here are some points that highlight the overall issue:

1.  Travelling- The latest impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the retail is a ubiquitous example. While in this lockdown phase, people have to stay put and only go out to buy necessary items, there is always a threat of coming in contact with an affected person.

2.  Compartmentalization- Although, this isn’t a problem but it can pose as one. Continuing with the above example, the more time you spend going through various compartments for production, time is wasted and the risk of contracting the disease increases.

3.  Insufficient items- One recurring limitation of traditional retail business that you constantly face is items not in stock and you don’t find that out unless you visit it. In times like these with limited resources and mass hoarding, the problem has become fourfold.

4.  Money to setup- A brick and mortar retail store is always a costly investment. For SMEs, it may mean risking everything that they have. Therefore, no consumer means loss in businesses which results in winding up of the business.

5.  Limited working hours– Unlike online shopping, shops have fixed business hours. And during stressful times like these, policies have become stricter. There may be times when you have to search (properly) and choose which item(s) should be on your cart but you don’t get that much time always.

How augmented retail solutions changed the game

The impact of Augmented Reality on retail has been monumental and has added a lot of benefits to the industry. From streamlining the process to making shopping easier for people (both online and offline), AR in retail is a different ball game altogether. Below are the major advantages of augmented reality in shopping that have been commonly observed by consumers.

Benefits of augmented reality in retail

Personalization of user content

Take User Experience Personalization to the Next Level

Retailers often customize content to meet the best expectations of the customer. You might’ve seen retailing stores filtering out content for you so that you look for relatable items without wasting time. This has been done in numerous ways. Another technology called VR or Virtual Reality is also rendered for enhancement. Together they provide comprehensive AR VR retail solutions.

Ease of trials/tryouts

How Augmented Reality digitally transformed the retail industry

Waiting for your turn outside the trial rooms can be highly boring and time-consuming. Therefore, there are virtual mirrors where you can simply find out the size of the dresses you like and in a digital screen in front of you, you can see how that apparel is looking and fitting your body.

This is an amazing role of augmented reality in retail. You can also do this in online shopping too. Suppose while shopping for a pair of glasses, the app will scan your face to place the pair on your digital reflection.  These types of gamification techniques play a huge role in driving retail sales.

Combines traditional retailing and online shopping 

Here's How E-Commerce is Taking Over Traditional Retail

Shopping is considered a fun activity. Now with so many retail stores and a huge population, it becomes jarring at times to shop for the right things. One of the key benefits of AR in Ecommerce is that it replicates the same ‘fun’ feeling of traditional shopping methods minus inventory costs and never ending lines.

Connecting shoppers with printed content

AR/VR in the connected retail ecosystem: Building futuristic virtual stores |

Printed products will not disappear in the future as they comprise a big chunk in marketing. It’s one of the masterstrokes of augmented reality marketing strategy. Have you ever observed how just by holding your phone over a particular picture you get all the information related to it and also similar items of interest? The augmented reality in retail applications helps you do it. Many companies have adopted this. The New Yorker provides quirky animations on the front and back covers of its magazines.

Increasing brand presence and awareness

25 Ways to Increase Brand Awareness with Inbound Marketing

AR is an amazing tool to enhance a company’s brand awareness to wider audiences. Mobile apps with state-of-the-art AR features will help a brand provide unique experiences to users. The use of AR for retailer marketing strategies gives a lot of leverage to brands to find ingenious ways for interactions creating a tunnel for instant feedback.

Dissipates barriers of language

What Is Language Barrier And How You Can Overcome It

Although with so many languages around the world, there are still certain barriers but that’s just momentary. With Google Translate AR mode, you can see any of the 40 foreign languages as your native one. Features of AR based shopping apps channelize language(s) in such a manner that it either is region-specific or, with the help of AR and AI tools, helps you understand its services. Even if you use printed catalogues, the AR content in it will guide you to choose the language of your convenience.

Earn better ROI

How to Prove Social Media ROI (Includes a Free Calculator)

AR is modern-day technology which undergoes changes frequently, therefore an e-commerce or m-commerce retailer which provides such facilities will definitely earn much higher than the ones who aren’t using it. Integration of AR in the retail sector has become a mandatory trend these days. And nowadays making an AR app is easy and cost-effective.

Improve the shopping experience

Improving Customer Shopping Experiences

This is like the summation of all advantages and one of the biggest AR/VR trends of modern retail. Whether you’re shopping online or offline, a retailer should provide the most interactive means so that you have worthy experience of shopping and would prefer to visit the shop/store/portal/app again and again. Advanced In-Store Experience with digital/virtual mirrors is an important addition which is improving with the passage of time.

Brands that are innovating with AR

Big names in the corporate world are doing pretty impressive work when it comes to business transformation with the help of AR. Augmented Reality benefits for shopping online and offline have been devised quite convincingly by brands to suit the fancies of a user. Below you’ll find a few companies that have etched their names in AR-based applications.


IKEA eyes land in Noida for first retail store in Delhi-NCR, to invest Rs 5,000 crore | Hindustan Times

When it comes to shopping for furniture and electricals, IKEA is probably the most synonymous name to reckon with. Its AR technology in retail is really helpful for users as it allows them to take their phones and scan a particular furniture piece and then superimpose that into your room’s image. You can do it for your bedroom, kitchen, lavatory, hall, foyer, lawn, etc. This helps you save a lot of time and energy.


Vespa GTS, with a large body for city, tourism and adventure.

After downloading the app, you just need to hover your phone over the magazine as shown in the video and a scooter will automatically pop-up. You can customise the vehicle as per your choice. You can change the colours, add/remove accessories, look for different styles, etc. Isn’t this a quirky use of AR marketing?


Philip Green's Topshop and Topman report £505m loss | Topshop | The Guardian

The clothing giant Topshop is a spitting example of creativity with AR. The company in its retail stores has set up kiosks where shoppers will see a digital reflection of themselves and can try out each individual clothing through the reflective image. Via hand gestures, the dresses can be changed one after the other. The whole process uplifts not just an individual shopper’s mood but also people nearby.


Adidas shrugs off China boycott call to raise outlook | Reuters

Since technology is all about innovation, Adidas testifies the statement with its use case of AR in ecommerce. A while ago, it changed the game with the launch of a new pair of sneakers. At ComplexCon CA 2018, the new AR feature made its debut. Users had to download the ComplexCon app on their smartphones, where it would guide them to head towards a destination in order to buy him/herself new kicks. In certain locations there were AR powered signs and the users needed to just point their phone towards it and follow the instructions. This helped them to buy shoes even without contacting any Adidas Originals employee in person.

What is the future of AR in Retail

The Top 4 Augmented Reality Trends of 2020 You Need to Know

Augmented Reality is often termed as a futuristic technology, but it is not true. AR has already made its way into all sectors of the retail market. The time is not too far when you will be sitting in the comfort of your sofa or sipping a cup of coffee in the kitchen, wearing AR-enabled glasses or browsing through the Augmented Reality Mobile Apps, shopping for everything you need. Yes, all this without even stepping out from your home!

The challenges in Augmented Reality Ecommerce also need to be worked upon to reach out to a wider range of audiences and retain existing ones. And whether it’s AR in online shopping or offline, there are certain things that need special attention. Aspects such as advertising, localization, incentives and discounts, personal approach, interaction, discoverability, privacy and UX.

An interesting fact about retail is that despite online shopping and M-commerce getting more precedence day by day, 71% of the consumers (buyers in this case) would like to experience VR in a store than in their smart devices. That’s what Augmented Reality does, keep people of both worlds happy.

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