Snapchat’s next Lenses could identify and add to landscapes as well as faces

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Snap, Inc. is working on an updated version of its in-app Snapchat lenses that would be able to recognize landscapes as well as faces, according to The Information, and intelligently overlay augmented reality animations and objects overtop of scenes captured through your camera. This is different from its existing smart Lenses, which can add features like snowfall to scenes, because it can actually create virtual objects that appear to interact and intersect with the real world.

The report says that these features are in advanced testing with the internal version of Snapchat, but they aren’t in the pipeline for a near-term release. If and when they do launch, however, they should fit well into Snap’s existing business model, since it’ll provide another range of options for potential advertisers.

The distinction between filters that apply dynamically to users and those that apply dynamically to environments and scenes might seem minor in terms of advertiser appeal, but in fact, they’ve very different things that could open up a lot of potential opportunity not available right now to brands who don’t necessarily have an easy way to advertise what they’re doing on a human’s face.

Snap is heading into its IPO, and could use some more arrows in its advertising quiver, especially with reports that Instagram and Facebook’s efforts to shamelessly copy all of Snapchat’s features and functionality are having an impact on the app’s usage.