Snapchat Upgrades Its AR Camera to Recognize Things Around You

The feature isn't exactly new but it has vastly been improved.
Loukia Papadopoulos

There's a new feature in Snapchat and it's bound to make the platform even more exciting, reported The Verge. The new feature is called Scan and, as its name suggests, it can scan and identify objects from the real world.

The feature isn't exactly new. Some form of it has been on Snapchat since 2019, reports PetaPixel. But its new and improved version has garnered more attention lately. This would indicate that Snapchat has been focused on becoming more than just a messaging app. It is seeking to be a visual search engine as well.

If it sounds familiar, it's because the technology has been around as far back as 2017 but it was Google who dominated it then. At the time it was called Lens and it enabled users to scan items through their phone cameras and identify them using a vast index of search results. Even Pinterest has a somewhat similar feature, also called Lens.

However, the feature could become much more popular in Snapchat. Snapchat has nearly 300 million daily users of which more than 170 million already use Scan at least once a month, even before the upgrades were made to put the feature front and center.

“We definitely think Scan will be one of the priorities for [Snapchat’s] camera going forward,” Eva Zhan, Snap’s head of camera product, told The Verge. “Long term, we see the camera doing a lot more than what it can do today.”

The new and improved Scan is capable of detecting dog breeds, plants, wine, cars, and even food nutrition info. Scan’s most prominent new addition is a shopping feature that can recommend similar clothes based on what you scan. It even lets you buy them.

Finally, Scan will also let users discover AR lenses by letting its AR creators tag their Lenses with relevant keywords. We tried the new feature and can report it provides all these exciting options as advertised. Could it be that Snapchat has become even more entertaining?

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