Snapchat is reported to have acquired a tech start-up that has developed technology that can turn regular photos taken from, say, the front-facing camera, into 3D images. The firm was apparently bought about two months ago and could result in Snapchat introducing 3D selfie lenses.
TechCrunch reported that Seene allows users to capture 3D models from their phones with the built-in camera. Apparently Snapchat has been keen on Seene's computer vision technology and its engineers rather than their consumer-oriented product.
Seene's expertise in computer vision allows users to click two-dimensional images, which is converted into a 3D model. Seene does this without having to rely on multiple cameras or infrared sensors, which TechCrunch believes will have interesting implementation in augmenter reality (AR).
Snapchat has been rumoured to be exploring the virtual reality (VR) space as well. Snapchat bought Vengance labs in 2014, a start-up that had developed an AR headset not unlike the Google Glass. The company had also hired executives and designers from Nokia and Creative, suggesting that it may be keen on entering the wearables space as well.
This has been Snapchat's sixth acquisition overall. The company had also recently purchased Bitstrips, a company that develops realistic looking emoji, and in 2015, Snapchat had acquired Looksery, which developed the tech behind the selfie lenses Snapchat currently uses.
The computer vision space has been seeing some piqued interest off late. Intel recently acquired Itseez, a computer vision firm that develops tech for self-driving cars. TechCrunch also reported that Apple had lapped up Faceshift, developed at ETH Zurich's computer vision lab.