Snap is looking to help more businesses move into AR and interactive digital experiences, with the launch of its new AR Enterprise Services (ARES) platform, which will provide tools and guidance to help brands integrate Snap's AR technology into their own apps, websites, and physical locations.
As explained by Snap:
“Through Snapchat's AR technology, we have seen the evolution of AR from entertainment and self-expression, to true utility for both consumers and businesses. And, naturally, brands need to be able to engage with their customers beyond Snapchat and across platforms, including through their own apps and websites.”
The new solution will provide the opportunity for businesses to directly integrate Snap’s AR tools into their own experiences, beginning with Shopping Suite, Snap’s AR tools designed to enhance the online shopping experience.
Through ARES, Snap will provide access to three AR elements that can be incorporated into third party platforms: 3D Viewer, AR Try-On, and Fit Finder. The combination of these tools will enable brands to incorporate AR virtual try-on experiences into their own process, which could be a big step forward in incorporating engaging, interactive digital elements into their process.
ARES, which is still in the early stages of development, will also provide dedicated support, along with new management and measurement tools, helping to maximize your AR opportunities.
It could be a big step for Snap, in powering a broader range of AR experiences, which could then make it a key provider of such as we move into the next stage of merging online and offline worlds via AR glasses and the broader metaverse push.
Though it’s hard to say exactly how far off that next stage will be, with the recent economic downturn forcing the tech giants to scale back projects, and cut back staff numbers.
Within that, there could be a delay in delivery of the promised AR glasses from Meta, while Snap’s own AR hardware ambitions may have also taken a hit - though Snap CEO Evan Spiegel has said that the company’s recent staff cuts have not dented its broader AR ambitions.
But there’s no timeline for such, with both Meta and Snap still saying AR wearables are years off. Yet, it remains a key focus for both, and there will come a time where the next stage of digital interaction incorporates AR overlays in all new ways.
As such, this is a smart move for Snap, to get in early in powering that next-level push, which could see it become a critical partner in the development of such experiences, and strengthen its leadership in the space.