Snap Reveals Director Mode, Drone Camera, Live Nation Deal

Snap announced a multi-year partnership with Live Nation that centers on its augmented reality initiative. Fans attending select Live Nation concerts will be able to access custom AR experiences created on the Snap AR developer platform “with help from Snap’s creative studio Arcadia.” At the Snap Partner Summit the company also unveiled new tools for AR shopping and a Director Mode for creators. A Lens Cloud feature lets clients store AR content on Snap servers for dynamic multi-user distribution. Also unveiled, the new Pixy “flying camera” that makes selfies a breeze.

Snap “is preparing for a future in which we’ll all wear AR glasses all the time, ready to tap into AR services and experiences all around us. Oh, and Snap’s also making a drone, which will get all the headlines,” deadpanned Protocol.

The Pixy (above) doesn’t use a controller and flies in four preset flight paths. It can float, orbit and follow users before boomeranging back to their hand. Initially available in the U.S. and France for $229, the Pixy enables third-person vantage points for video and photos.

Protocol notes “the Pixy is Snap’s second big bet on hardware after Spectacles, which began as simple video-recording glasses and are now being turned into AR headgear” and speculates that the drone camera could factor into Snap’s AR ambitions as it “is already capable of flying around you to record a 360-degree pan.”

The Live Nation deal sees Snap become the exclusive AR partner for 16 of the company’s festivals, starting with the Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, and including Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, among others. Snap shared a video illustrating some of the potential uses, which include “extending the artist’s creative canvas into the crowd.”

“And, of course, Snapchat users will be able to share content generated by the AR Lenses at live events with friends and on Snapchat Stories,” writes Variety.

With Director Mode, creators can use Snap’s new “Dual Camera capability” that allows simultaneous use of the front- and back-facing cameras, “a game-changer for creators” who “for the first time without any special camera tricks or secondary apps, creators can capture their reaction and their 360 perspective,” the company says.

“The feature will first become available on iOS ‘in the coming months,’ before rolling out to Android later in the year,” notes Screen Rant, which also talks about Snap AR adding ray tracing so developers can “let reflections shine from AR objects in a lifelike way.”

TechCrunch details how Camera Kit is an AR SDK that brings brands and retailers “catalog-powered shopping lenses” to their own product pages “to allow their customers to virtually try on their clothing, accessories, shoes and more,” adding that “the first global partner to use the technology is Puma.”

And in a separate article, TechCrunch details the three components to Lens Cloud.