Snapchat patent reveals plan to augment the world


It appears Snapchat could be working to advance the use of its Spectacles.

The camera company has published a patent for a future version of the device that supports augmented reality (AR) capabilities.

The Snapchat app would prompt users to take capture footage of their environment, which it would then  identify their location and match images from a database against the real-world surroundings.

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The patent illustrates a scene as if the user was walking down the street of a city and in the drawing, it shows a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex standing in the middle of the road walking towards them that could only be seen using the Spectacles 

The patent illustrates a scene as if the user was walking down the street of a city and in the drawing, it shows a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex standing in the middle of the road walking towards them that could only be seen using the Spectacles 

The patent illustrates a scene as if the user was walking down the street of a city and in the drawing, it shows a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex standing in the middle of the road walking towards them that could only be seen using the Spectacles 

HOW DOES IT WORK? 

According to the patent, the technology would have the users capture their surrounding environment by taking shooting a video via the Snapchat app.

This data would then be used as ‘an initial rough location estimate to identify façade data about local buildings’ which would be determined by GPS or another location service, the patent explains in regards to what the environment looks like.

The system then searches through its data base for an image that matches with what the users is seeing, which would then be placed in the scene.

And the patent gives a few examples including virtual animals, robots and dinosaurs.

Snapchat released its Spectacles in November, which are a range of sunglasses which users can film 10 second video clips and upload them straight to picture messaging app.

However, it looks as if the firm is looking beyond users sharing their world with others and more at sharing a new world with its users. 

The patent, entitled ‘Image based tracking in augmented reality systems’ was filed by Snapchat in October 2015 and published on Thursday.

According to the document, the technology would have the users capture their surrounding environment by taking shooting a video via the Snapchat app.

This data would then be used as ‘an initial rough location estimate to identify façade data about local buildings’ which would be determined by GPS or another location service, the patent explains in regards to what the environment looks like.

The system then searches through its data base for an image that matches with what the users is seeing, which would then be placed in the scene.

And the patent gives a few examples including virtual animals, robots and dinosaurs.

‘Augmented reality, as described herein, refers to systems and devices that capture images, enhance those images with additional information, and then present the enhanced information on a display,’ the patent explains.

‘This enables, for example, a user to hold up a phone to capture a video stream of a scene, and an output display of the phone to present the scene as visible to the user along with additional information.

Although the patent does not outright list ‘Spectacles’ as the tool that would transport users to an augmented work, there is a drawing  (pictured) of a pair of glasses that looks almost identical

Although the patent does not outright list ‘Spectacles’ as the tool that would transport users to an augmented work, there is a drawing  (pictured) of a pair of glasses that looks almost identical

Although the patent does not outright list ‘Spectacles’ as the tool that would transport users to an augmented work, there is a drawing  (pictured) of a pair of glasses that looks almost identical

technology would have the users capture their surrounding environment by taking shooting a video via the Snapchat app. This data would then be used as ‘an initial rough location estimate to identify façade data about local buildings’ which would be determined by GPS or another location service, the patent explains in regards to what the environment looks like

technology would have the users capture their surrounding environment by taking shooting a video via the Snapchat app. This data would then be used as ‘an initial rough location estimate to identify façade data about local buildings’ which would be determined by GPS or another location service, the patent explains in regards to what the environment looks like

technology would have the users capture their surrounding environment by taking shooting a video via the Snapchat app. This data would then be used as ‘an initial rough location estimate to identify façade data about local buildings’ which would be determined by GPS or another location service, the patent explains in regards to what the environment looks like

‘This information may include placing virtual objects in the scene so the virtual objects are presented as if they existed in the scene.’

‘Aspects of such virtual objects are processed to occlude the virtual object if another real or virtual object passes in front of the virtual object as shown from the perspective of the image sensor capturing the environment.’

The patent shows an illustration where the user is walking down the street of a city.

SNAPCHAT’S FIRST STEP INTO AUGMENTED REALITY 

Snapchat has launched new World Lenses in March that let Snapchatters add augmented reality elements to their real environment by placing 3D objects in any scene.

Users can interact with a glittery rainbow, colorful flowers, a sad cloud and a floating ‘OMG’ in the initial rollout – the firm noted that the Lenses are set to change daily.

The technology is similar to what was used in the popular Pokemon Go app – as user could see colorful creatures prancing around the real world using their smartphones.

One lens is a smiling rainbow that is shown floating and spinning around in the air.

Users can make it bigger, smaller and even walk underneath it where they can then view the back of the object.

There is also a lens that lets you plant seeds – simply toss them on the ground and watch the flowers sprout up in seconds.

And the lenses can be used with the rear-facing camera.

To use the augment reality feature, simply tap and hold on the screen and a carousel of lenses should appear at the bottom – similar to where the different lenses appear with the front-facing camera.

 

In the drawing, it shows a massive Tyrannosaurus Rex standing in the middle of the road walking towards them.

‘In an AR event, virtual objects such as virtual object may move within a virtual environment matched to the real environment, so that as a camera perspective changes, virtual object is not static, but moves over time whether or not virtual object is within the perspective area captured by a sensor,’ Snapchat shares in the patent.

So, the augmented reality dinosaur could appear as if it is charging for you, while you are wearing the Spectacles.

Although the patent does not outright list ‘Spectacles’ as the tool that would transport users to an augmented work, there is a drawing of a pair of glasses that looks almost identical. 

It seems Snapchat is looking to advance the use of its Spectacles (pictured). The camera company has published a patent for a future version of the device that would support augmented reality (AR) capabilities

It seems Snapchat is looking to advance the use of its Spectacles (pictured). The camera company has published a patent for a future version of the device that would support augmented reality (AR) capabilities

It seems Snapchat is looking to advance the use of its Spectacles (pictured). The camera company has published a patent for a future version of the device that would support augmented reality (AR) capabilities

The patent suggests that the firm would fit the ‘glasses’ with two cameras and a range of sensors to ‘see’ the user’s reality.

However, the document also describes other device that could be used such a visor or helmet. 

The firm notes that it could use ‘specialized image and location capture equipment’ to gather more information about the outside world.

This would include ‘locations, keypoints of buildings, and building facade data with high accuracy’.

SNAPCHAT SPECTACLES 

To take a Snap, just press the button on Specs once to take a ten-second video Snap. 

There’s no need to pair Spectacles with your phone first.

Spectacles are always ‘on’ and ready to capture the moment, but they’re not always recording. 

The LED ring on the front of Specs will illuminate when you press the button to start recording.

One you pair a phone, the snaps will automatically appear in your memories tab. 

From there, they can be edited and shared as normal. 

 

Doing so will give the system more ‘accurate references for image based location systems’.

However, like many tech firms before, just because Snapchat has published a patent for new technology, does not mean it will become a reality.

But it may not be too far off, as the firm foresees this device being a $5 billion market by 2020.

 



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