Snapchat is upgrading its visual search features and putting them at the center of its app. With this upgrade, users can easily access augmented reality (AR) based utility to identify various things like dogs, food, plants and can use their camera to solve math equations. This Scan feature last received an update in 2019 to let users experience its AR advancements. Snapchat also announces a partnership with companies including Shazam and Photomath to bring new scanning abilities to the built-in feature. The updates include more prominent placement of the “scan” feature — now located directly under the camera’s shutter button — and new capabilities that will suggest lenses and music based on your surroundings. The app is now rolling out changes it announced back in May during its Partner Summit event.
Snap announces that the Scan feature on the home screen would begin rolling out globally to all iOS users first. Over the next few weeks, it will also be available to all Android users all over the world, the company said in a press statement. In other to experience these changes, users may need to upgrade to the latest Snapchat app. Once updated, users will notice that the existing Snapchat Camera icon is replaced with the Scan feature. Users can then access AR-based filters and lenses to discover and understand their surroundings. It will sit at the front and center of the social multimedia app — alongside the existing Snap Map, Chat, Stories, and Spotlight icons. Snap has been experimenting with visual search, called “scan” since 2019.
By replacing the original Snapchat Camera icon with Scan, Snap will offer suggestions including Camera Shortcuts and new shopping capabilities to users directly from the home screen of the app. Users were earlier required to open Lenses and then hit the Scan button to access the same set of AR capabilities. The company has also integrated scanning abilities into its latest AR Spectacles, which can similarly suggest lenses based on what’s around you (unlike previous versions of Spectacles, the newest ones aren’t for sale just yet).
In addition scanning, music, and solving math equations have been made possible. Also, Snapchat’s Scan comes with a dog scanner to let users identify over 400 breeds of dogs. Also included is a dedicated plant scanner option that is claimed to help discover and learn about 90 percent of all known plants and trees. Further, the feature is capable of discovering the make, model, price, and reviews of nearly 450 cars and scan up to a million food products to get nutrition ratings on the basis of their ingredient quality. Wow!! These app integrations won’t surface unless the object fits into one of those categories, and Snapchat has continued adding partnerships over the years. Users will need to point to the camera of their phone after switching the Scan feature on Snapchat to do all of these discoveries. It is a significant upgrade over the original scanning functionality that is meant to let you scan QR codes (known as Snapcodes) of other users on the app.
In the statement by the company, “Snap will be continually adding new categories of intelligence to Scan, and over the next few months, people will see the Snap camera increasingly get smarter by adding more capabilities and a handful of new partner experiences.” Alongside making the Scan feature useful for mobile users, Snap mentioned that it was in plans to bring new and helpful experiences through its next-generation AR glasses Spectacles. With all these incredible features, Snapchat is getting closer to turning its camera into a full-fledged visual search engine.