Snapchat’s new dual camera feature also works with AR lenses: handy

Snapchat’s latest update is a feature that appears to be the company’s answer to the popular BeReal app: You can use the front and rear camera at the same time. But while BeReal emphasizes using unfiltered photos, Snapchat’s dual camera feature works with tons of augmented reality filters and effects, with more likely to come. The feature, launching on Monday, is something I’ve been playing with over the weekend. It’s surprisingly helpful.

Simultaneous dual-camera apps are something the promise of which has been going on for years. Filmic Pro added dual camera support in 2020and Apple’s ARKit supported front and rear camera AR fusion back in 2019.

The feature appears as an icon in the main camera menu that looks like two cameras on top of each other. Tap it and there are multiple shooting modes: horizontal, vertical split screen, picture-in-picture with the selfie in a small circle, and a cutout that overlays the selfie in the back plane. Cutout mode is my favorite and gives real-time TikTok-like styling.

Instagram also introduced a dual camera mode earlier this year, but Snapchat’s dual camera works with all of its AR lenses. Currently, current AR lenses can be added post-capture, but Snapchat is soon adding pre-capture dual-camera lenses and boosting support for creator AR lenses that do. A few examples a Snapchat rep showed me during a video chat – two people in augmented reality costumes having a conversation or projecting your own augmented reality filtered face onto a sofa in your bedroom – look totally fun and weird.

According to Snapchat, the dual camera feature was originally intended for Snap’s Creator Cam in director mode, but the feature has been extended to Snapchat’s main app…most likely to compete with the growing field of video-based social apps. rapid transformation, TikTok and others.

The AR elements of Snapchat’s dual camera feature look most intriguing and transformative. Although this dual-camera mode is not currently designed for AR glasses, it is conceivable that this mode combined with Snap’s future AR glasses could end up allowing simultaneous capture of AR and reaction fire, or even more unusual effects.

At the moment, dual camera mode works on iOS, requiring an iPhone XS or later to work. Android support is expected in the coming months.

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