AR Concept Development.
How Can Augmented Reality Improve Social Media?
I wanted to look into AR and how it could affect social media; I researched three different platforms: Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. The common denominator I found was the level of intimacy that each one offered to users, with Facebook being the most open, to Snapchat focusing on having very personal experiences.
I decided to focus my project on Snapchat, due to its fun nature, encouraging play. With its already existing geo-location based filters and stories, AR would fit well into the app's environment.
My initial focus was on sending messages through the use of an AR space. A user would define and set an "AR space" of their choice, like the surface of a desk, where other users would be able to leave messages. However, I quickly realized that there would be no AR interactivity on the sender's end; only the receiver would be able to interact with these messages. I wanted to find a solution that would give involvement on both sides of parties. The only way that could work was if both the sender and the receiver were in the same physical environment.
This is how I came up with Snapchat Environments. Similar to the concept I had mentioned previously, the difference would be that all users would contribute to the same physical space. These users would have to physically be in the same environment, where they can write messages, draw, or leave stickers. A user would be able to see everything that is left in the space, by other Snapchat users, regardless of whether or not they are friends. This promotes connectivity and collaboration between strangers, and adds a friend (stranger) discovery feature that does not yet exist in Snapchat.