The sky is the limit when it comes to augmented reality, but Snapchat's latest innovation keeps its AR platform on the ground.
On Thursday, the company released a pair of new lenses that highlight its new ground transformation technology.  The first lens, aptly named The Floor is Water, turns nearby flat surfaces into virtual water, with a wet-ground sign anchored in place to drive the point home. This special effect is not wanted in my forest neck, where it seemed to have been raining all year round.
The second lens, the memorable The Floor is Lava, opens up floor surfaces and shows a flow of molten magmas. Funnily enough, a warning sign also appears here.
According to a Snap spokesman, the lenses are equipped with an internal version of Lens Studio, the company's AR Creation desktop app. Ground transformation features are not currently available in the Lens Studio public edition, but Snap may be able to access them in the future.
In my short tests, the water effect is slightly less even than on other proven AR skills on Snapchat, with the camera distorted some ground objects. The design of the lava version is much more convincing because it has floor spots in view.
Both lenses are available in the AR carousel. Alternatively, users can scan the following snapcodes to unlock the lenses. Readers on mobile devices can click the links for The Floor is Wet and The Floor is Lava to unlock the lenses in the Snapchat app for iOS or Android.
In recent years, Snap has committed to investors to maintain leadership in augmented reality. The company has delivered on this promise through continuous innovation in Snapchat's mobile AR features, from tone detection to sky segmentation and hand tracking to voice recognition and image and landmark tracking.
AR innovations have paid off through virus growth and stoking user growth. In this case, the gender swap and baby facial lenses received over 200 million interactions in the first two weeks after release in the second quarter of 2019. And a Nike AR ad in the store caught the attention of Lebron James himself.
Perhaps Snapchat's latest innovation inspires an AR revival of the #floorislava meme? Snapchat shareholders would probably not be crazy about this type of virtual natural disaster.