Pixy Dust: Snap Introduces a Flying Camera at Its Snap Partner Summit

Here are all of the details on a host of new products revealed at Thursday’s event

Mark your calendar for Mediaweek, October 29-30 in New York City. We’ll unpack the biggest shifts shaping the future of media—from tv to retail media to tech—and how marketers can prep to stay ahead. Register with early-bird rates before sale ends!

A flying camera named Pixy was the star of the annual Snap Partner Summit Thursday, and this year’s theme is Back to Reality.

Snap described Pixy as a pocket-sized camera that operates without controllers or complicated setup, floating a few feet above a person’s head and capturing photos and videos, which are then downloaded to Memories, and landing in the user’s hand post-flight.

Pixy will be available while supplies last in France and the U.S. via Pixy.com. Snap said the base flight pack sells for $229.99, with additional batteries available for $19.99 and a dual battery charger for $49.99.


Snap Inc.

Snap said during the event Thursday that it topped 600 million monthly active users and 330 million daily active users worldwide, and it now reaches more than 75% of people between the ages of 13 and 34 in over 20 countries.

The company also works with over 500,000 creators, developers and partners, and Snapchatters have shared content from its partner’s applications—such as songs from Spotify or tweets from Twitter—more than 6 billion times.

Co-founder and CEO Evan Spiegel addressed the war in Ukraine during his keynote, saying, “Today, we’re dedicating our Snap Partner Summit to our team members in Ukraine. Ukraine is the birthplace of Looksery, the company that laid the foundation for our augmented reality platform. The products and services we are sharing with you today would not be possible without the creativity and ingenuity of our Ukrainian team members, and our hearts have been broken by the war that has taken so many innocent lives. We pray for peace in Ukraine.”

Flying cameras aside, here is a look at everything else Snap introduced during Thursday’s event.

AR shopping

The company said over 250 million users engaged with AR shopping lenses more than 5 billion times since January 2021, and it unveiled a new AR creation suite to enable businesses to create assets cost-effectively, quickly and easily and to give Snapchatters new ways to shop with AR, both on- and off-platform.

New web content management platform 3D Asset Manager lets businesses approve, optimize and request 3D models for the creation of AR ads featuring any product in their catalog.

Forma developed a new AR image processing technology that enables businesses to transform existing images into turnkey AR-ready assets for try-on lenses on Snapchat, letting shoppers take a full-body selfie and try on outfits without leaving their homes.

AR shopping templates were added to web-based AR creation tool Lens Web Builder, and they are available in beta for select partners in apparel, eyewear and footwear, who can join beauty brands in building virtual try-on and visualization experiences using their AR-ready assets.

Snap said the technology is also being extended to surface objects such as furniture and handbags, enabling 3D models to be placed on the floor or a tabletop so that Snapchatters can see how those items fit in their spaces and access more details.

Dress Up, Snapchat’s first dedicated in-app destination for browsing, discovering and sharing AR try-on and shopping experiences, rolled out Thursday on Lens Explorer, and it will soon be added to the AR bar in the app’s camera.

Snapchatters can navigate a new shopping section in their profile and see products they added to their cart, favorited or recently viewed.

The company said lenses that are available on brand profiles will be considered for Dress Up.


Snap Inc.

Puma became Snap’s first global brand partner to use its AR shopping software-development kit for Camera Kit. It works across Android and iOS and lets brands bring try-on and product visualization directly into their own apps. Snap said it will soon be extended to websites, as well.


Snap Inc./Puma

Live Nation

Snap reached a multiyear AR partnership with Live Nation that will enable fans at select concerts to open the Snapchat Camera and access exclusive AR experiences.

Fans can discover landmarks around festival grounds, find friends and try on merchandise, while artists can extend their creative canvas into the crowd.

The partnership kicks off with Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas May 20 through 22 and continues with events such as The Governors Ball in New York, Lollapalooza in Chicago, Rolling Loud in Miami and Wireless Festival in London.


Snap Inc./Live Nation

AR platform

Snap revealed Thursday that its AR developer community is behind more than 2.5 million lenses that have been viewed over 5 trillion times.

The company introduced Lens Cloud, a freely available collection of backend services that expands what developers can build in AR. Lens Cloud is made up of three main services:

  • Multi-user services: Groups of friends can interact together simultaneously within the same lens.
  • Location-based services: Lenses are anchored to specific places using Snap’s city templates or to any custom location around the world. Central London is currently available, and more locations will be added over the coming year.
  • Storage services: Storing assets in the cloud lets developers build complex, interactive lenses, and Snapchatters will be able to resume at the point where they left off through persistent data support. It will debut in the coming months.

A new version of Lens Studio was released Thursday.

Snap expanded its API (application-programming interface) Library, adding new partners AstrologyAPI and Sportradar to enable the addition of daily horoscopes and live sports scores to the options that were already available, such as real-time financial, translation and weather data.

The platform’s Lens Analytics feature now includes Event insights, giving creators visibility into what happens while their lenses are in use and making it easier for them to debug issues and improve the experience.


Snap Inc.

Coming soon, Ray Tracing will let reflections shine from AR objects in a lifelike way, marking the first time this feature will scale across a wide range of mobile devices and enable console-quality realism across platforms.

Snap said Disney and Pixar will incorporate Buzz Lightyear’s iconic space suit into an AR try-on lens, while a signature piece from Tiffany will “sparkle with precision.”


Snap Inc./Disney/Pixar

Creators

Director Mode, a new set of camera and editing tools within Snapchat, help creators craft polished content and enhance everyday moments captured by the Snapchat Camera.

Creators can tap the new Dual Camera capability to use the front-facing and rear-facing cameras simultaneously and capture a 360-degree perspective without the use of secondary apps.

A new Green Screen mode lets creators transform the backgrounds of their videos.

Quick Edit allows them to take and edit multiple Snaps at the same time.

Director Mode will debut on iOS in the coming months, with Android to follow.

Developers

The new Minis Private Components System lets developers add social experiences including ratings, recommendations and reviews to Snap Minis while protecting users’ privacy.

Snap’s system uses a code compiler to establish a secure sandbox environment around each designated social element within the Mini experience.

Early partners for the Minis Private Components System feature include Ding, Givingli and HBO Max.

Spiegel said during his keynote, “AR is important because it combines the power of computing with what we see and experience right in front of us in the real world. It allows us to use computing in a familiar environment, weaving technology seamlessly into our lives. And unlike other technologies, Snap AR is already at scale: Now, what was once a far-off vision for computing overlaid on the world through AR is possible todaythrough our camera. Our launches support our partners with new tools and capabilities that allow them to reach our community and grow their own business, on and off Snapchat.”