Snapchat’s iPhone X-exclusive Lenses look more realistic than usual
Snapchat has discovered a way to leverage the power of iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera — and that means you’ll have access to exclusive Lenses if you use Apple’s all-screen mobile device. Starting today, you’ll see TrueDepth-enabled Lenses appear periodically within the Snapchat carousel on iPhone X. They’re AR masks that follow your face around like the app’s many other Lenses, but due to the way TrueDepth works, they can look more realistic and just all around better.
See, Apple’s TrueDepth technology for the X’s selfie camera projects 30,000 infrared dots onto your face. It powers the device’s secure facial recognition system and makes it possible to turn your facial expressions into Animojis. Snap says TrueDepth allows even the smallest details and 3D objects in the Lenses to follow your face’s movements, making masks look more realistic than they usually are. Those 3D objects can also reflect and react to ambient lighting, producing shadows and highlights that follow the contours of your face and the surroundings. Finally, Apple’s technology gives the Lenses more accurate depth detection, which leads to better background blurs, among other style elements.
This isn’t the first time the ephemeral messaging app is using a phone’s capabilities to its advantage. Late last year, it allowed users with ARKit-enabled devices to superimpose Jeff Koons’ giant balloon installations onto specific places in the real world. We’ll probably see more Lenses like these in the future, as Snap works to recapture any user it might have lost due to its pretty unpopular redesign.