Snapchat’s Acquisition of 3D Mapping Company Pixel8Earth Would Help It Explore AR Capabilities


Encouraged by its latest earnings report which reflected solid growth both in terms of revenue and number of users, Snapchat now plans to invest further in the interactive space by acquiring Pixel8Earth, a 3D mapping platform.

Pixel8Earth happens to be a ‘crowdsourced and perpetually updating map’ which combines aerial and terrestrial data into a single and enables the creation of 3D spatial sheathings of structures and landscapes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwwU14gllS0

As this video demonstrates, the Pixel8Earth system can take a bunch of video-based inputs and then use them to put the various feeds together onto a single map. The following video gives a clearer overview of its application.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SaTXEY6i1Z8

The system largely uses digital video content that has been captured by different sources to put together more comprehensive perspectives of real-world scenarios. Based on the information derived from this, Snapchat will be able to expand the Pixel8Earth project with the help of the camera built into its app. Apart from this, it can use that mapping to develop its AR tools, like the Landmarker Lenses and digital art installations, further.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1aYoaQ3oe4

This new kind of digital interactivity, which is only a part of Snapchat’s AR region, has already been providing Snapchat users with new and innovative ways to interact and engage within the app. Snapchat’s collaborative AR project, which is titled ‘City Painter’, is now active in a prominent area in London called the Carnaby Street.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-t-KY8Z0fI

As one can see in this video, this collaborative project allows users to engage with an AR sheathing or overlay of a real-world location. People who use it can virtually paint the streets and shops around them with whatever they like to. The contribution made by an individual can only be seen by those who use Snapchat and make a visit to this particular location.

Till now, Snapchat has introduced just one City Painter as it needs detailed location mapping to function efficiently. However, once it acquires Pixel8Earth it can explore things a lot better on this front. This will open up several new possibilities when it comes to users getting to be a part of varied interactive experiences.

Snapchat is reported to have several other initiatives in the pipeline for these advanced mapping tools including premium interactive tools and additional AR applications. While Snapchat hasn’t given official confirmation about it developing an AR-enabled version of its Spectacles smart glasses, several reports have pointed out that the company’s development processes are at an advanced stage.