Snapchat is Rolling Out Lenses that Respond to Sound



The first Lens features neon pink animal ears that expand when sound is detected.


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This past April, Snapchat introduced Snappables to its Lenses feature. In case you haven’t seen them, these are interactive augmented reality games are controllable by touch, motion, and facial expressions. Some Snappables include the option to challenge friends to beat your high score, while others encourage multiplayer games so you can play with your friends.

One example from the first round of Snappables included a game that used a filter to transform a users’ eyeballs into barbells, which could be lifted by raising their actual eyebrows. Each week since its launch, new Snappables have been released to keep things extra fun and exciting.

At the time, a Snapchat spokesperson said in a statement to Adweek, “We see Snappables as just the very beginning of a new type of AR experience on Snapchat. Up until today, lenses have been about transforming your look or the world around you through content. Snappables invite you to become a part of another world and share that world with your friends.”

Fast forwarding just over a month, and it appear Snapchat is making good on this claim. How? By rolling out its very first Lens that reacts to sound.

As depicted in the video taken by Mashable’s Jake Krol, the filter features an animal-mask overlay, complete with a heart nose, whiskers, and neon pink glowing ears. At a glance, there appears to be nothing out of the ordinary when considering your average Snap filters. However, with the new Lens, sound is picked up by your smartphone’s microphone, and detected when the ears pulse. The louder the noise, the more the activity.

Interestingly, despite Krol adjusting his voice to include a mix of pitches, the Lens doesn’t seem to make changes when this happens–only to the overall detection of his voice. Time will tell whether or not this is an iteration that comes at a later time, or, if in a very Alexa-esque scenario, the Lenses will be able to detect specific words spoken by the user.

Further, it’ll be interesting to see whether Snappables and the new Lenses are brought together–a pair that would likely enhance the overall experience for those drawn to the AR-enhanced games and potentially keep users on the platform for longer periods of time.

From a marketer standpoint, Snapchat could draw in more brands looking to utilize Sponsored Lenses. That is, with the new update they’ll be able to achieve original content in a way that creatively marries visuals with sound.

Though no official comment has been issued by Snapchat, one can presume that like other Lenses, we can expect to see the new sound reaction ones being swapped out regularly. The first is currently available for all iOS and Android users.

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