Snap Inc. has started testing a new hidden feature that let users unlock secret filters when they point the camera to the charging case of Spectacles, the camera-embedded sunglasses the company introduced last year. As the twitter video below demonstrates, when one opens Snapchat and points the camera to the “Spectacles” printed on the charging case, the app unlocks a special filter that shows floating bubbles of snaps, similar to the circular videos captured by Spectacles.
Found a cool @Spectacles secret! If you point your Snapchat camera at package’s lettering, it gives you a special filter!
How it works: pic.twitter.com/wPSVpQjk5T
— Moshe Isaacian ? (@MosheIsaacian) November 23, 2016
What Brands Need To Do
Fun and innocuous as this new feature may seem at first glance, it might just be hinting at the next big ad product for Snap. It is easy to imagine how Snap Inc. would soon follow the roadmap set by its branded Geofilters and come out with “sponsored secret filters” for brands to buy. Looking beyond that, however, a bigger opportunity lies in the fact that this feature can transform ordinary objects, and by extension, the physical space they reside in, into an AR-enhanced branding opportunity. For example, an auto brand can use this feature to drive car enthusiasts to dealerships to unlock special themed filters while a retailer may work with Snap Inc. to turn an in-store installation into a trigger for unlocking secret filters that contain special offers or branded content.
With the launch of Spectacles, Snapchat changed its name to Snap Inc. and rebranded itself as a “camera company,” aiming to liberate cameras from smartphones and integrate them into other wearable products for a more frictionless user experience. As it continues to improve its existing ad products, more and more brands are joining Snapchat to reach mobile consumers. In fact, a new report by digital marketing firm L2 found that Snapchat’s brand adoption rate grew 50% from January to October last year, with 64% of brands now established a presence on the app. As Snap continues to bring augmented reality technology to the mass market with its camera-centric products, brands will need to start to think about how AR may add value to their products, services, and marketing efforts.