Snap’s looking to help more businesses get into the whole AR scene, primarily by supplying customers with fresher, more immersive digital experiences. To help facilitate this, Snap’s launching its new AR Enterprise Services (ARES) platform, which will provide the guidance and tools to help brands integrate Snap’s AR technology into their own apps, websites, and even physical stores.
“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, starting 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 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, will also provide dedicated support, along with new management and measurement tools, helping to maximize AR opportunities.
It could prove to be another big step for Snap in powering a broader range of AR experiences, which could make it more of a key provider of such as we all move towards the next stage of merging the real and digital world, via AR glasses and the broader Metaverse push. However, it has gotten a bit more difficult to determine just how far off the next stage will be, given how the recent economic downturns have forced almost all tech giants to scale projects back and even reduce staff numbers.
Within this, there could be a delay in the delivery of the promised AR glasses from Meta. Snap’s ‘Spectacles’ have also taken a hit – though Snap’s CEO Evan Spiegel said that the company’s recent staff cuts have not affected its broader AR ambitions. However, there’s no timeline for such, with both Meta and Snap saying that wearables are years off. Yet, it remains a key focus for both, and there will come a time when the next stage of digital interaction incorporates AR overlays in all new ways. This is a smart move for Snap, to get in early in powering the next-level push, which could see it become a critical partner in the development of such experiences, thus strengthening its leadership in the space.