While Facebook, Apple, Samsung, and other augmented reality selfie effects and content that challenges their platform, Snapchat has continued to innovate with its augmented reality capabilities.
The latest example was posted on the carousel of the app on Monday. is a lens that responds to sound. The lens attaches a pair of transparent neon tubes to the user's head. The ears pulsate to the music that is near the user.
According to a company spokesman, Lens is only the first of many to use the new technology as more lenses will follow in the coming weeks.
Based on my limited testing, the sound response, at least in this lens implementation, is more sensitive to drum beats as other sounds. For example, the Lens robust (top left) responds to the bass drum in Childish Gambino's "This is America," but the effect is less pronounced in the rapid-fire drumming of modern metal.
Sound recognition is just the latest advancement in Snapchat's augmented reality skills. Earlier this year, the company also introduced Body Tracking . Another magic trick, the segmentation of the sky, was shown with a flying whale that could disappear behind trees and buildings. More recently, the company has begun offering hand recognition, with Coors Light being one of the first brands to use this capability.
Snapchat faces fierce competition from Facebook (and its Instagram photo-sharing app) for daily active users and users Advertisers opposite. Facebook announced its own AR advances such as hand and body tracking, background segmentation and image recognition at the F8 Developer Conference earlier this month
At the same time, the AR toolkits from Apple and Google App developers are building their own AR experiences with Snapchats A brand for augmented reality and advertisers who choose to develop standalone apps rather than promoting sponsored lenses. Both companies are also innovating very fast, with both toolkits getting new features in their latest releases.
Snapchat could get credit as the originator in this area, but it will not have the luxury of relying on that status; it must continue to lead with technology.