Le fondateur de Snapchat, Evan Spiegel, a qualifié les ambitions de “métaverse” de Facebook de “ambiguës et hypothétiques” en annonçant une série de nouvelles fonctionnalités de réalité augmentée à venir sur les télés de expéphones AR ‘Next year.
Speaking ahead of the Snap Partner Summit, the company’s flagship annual event, Spiegel said Snapchat was uniquely positioned to guide technology into the next decade through the company’s wide range of augmented reality services, such as “lenses” used by millions of people. people every day.
With 332 million daily users and a market capitalization of $46.95 billion (£38 billion), Snap is comfortably larger than Twitter, even after Elon Musk’s latest takeover bid, but it’s attracting a small portion of the interest. “It’s something that goes along with their being the ‘public square of the city,'” Spiegel says. “We are pleased with the value we bring to our community — and the community.”
He cites statistics that “more than 90% of Snapchat users say they feel comfortable, happy, and connected when using Snapchat,” which “has been rated as the happiest platform compared to other apps.”
“There are now about 250 million people interacting with augmented reality every day on a smartphone alone,” Spiegel said. “And on this very small screen you can see and use your thumb. So we think it will be very important to try to break some of these limitations and embark on a truly immersive and interactive AR experience in the future.
Snap’s latest Spectacles glasses have only been delivered in prototype form to creators around the world: with a battery life of 15-30 minutes and a very limited screen, they aim to inspire creators of the potential for future versions of the same material. But, Spiegel says, the next generation is already under development.
“It just changes the way you interact when you can walk around, use your hands and see computing come to life. The strength of our AR glasses lies in the AR platform behind them, where I’ve met hundreds of thousands of developers, millions of lenses, and truly cutting edge tools that continue to evolve rapidly. .
At the heart of this development is an update called Lens Cloud that allows Snapchat and Spectacles developers to create augmented reality experiences firmly rooted in the real world. A suite of tools allow Lenses to be installed anywhere in the world: Lego used them to build virtual Ferris wheels, roller coasters and slides on the streets of central London.
Another feature allows two users of the same AR lens to interact for the first time, occupy the same virtual spaces and play the same games.
The updates seem to be the basis for a shared virtual world of the kind that Facebook recently decided would be so fundamental to its future that it even renamed the company Meta. But, Spiegel says, the word “metaverse” is never spoken in Snap’s offices.
“The reason we don’t use that word is because it’s so vague and hypothetical. Just ask a room of people how they define it, and everyone’s definition is completely different.”
“But one of the big general concepts that people have is that a lot of these tools are designed to replace reality. Whereas when we talk about augmented reality we are trying to augment the real world around you. So our main bet is that people really like the real world: they want to be together. Face to face with their friends.
“And of course, our vision is real today, with glasses that you can use today and a platform that works at scale today. So we try to move away from those assumptions, as we focus on what we’re building now.
Spiegel also revealed the Pixy, “the world’s most user-friendly flying camera” – a palm-sized, autonomous drone that can be used to capture outdoor activities. With just one button to control it, users simply hold the Pixy in their hand and choose one of five modes, including ‘follow’ – the drone will recognize and track its owner while taking video along the way – and ‘reveal’ – the drone will fly when its maximum height and photograph the reverse pan as it travels.
“Everything you need to capture the spontaneity and joy of the moment from a new perspective is in the palm of your hand,” Spiegel said. “No controllers. No complicated configuration. Just select the flight path and let Pixy take it from there, hovering over you while taking photos and videos. And it knows when and where to come back, it lands gently in the palm of your hand.”
The device is available to purchase starting Thursday for $229.99 for customers in the United States and France.