Snapchat’s lens manufacturer kabaq.io’s expectations in AR focus
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Snapchat’s lens manufacturer kabaq.io’s expectations in AR focus

A Turkish startup in the Silicon Valley, kabaq.io took place in the recently announced Creative Lens Studio program by Snapchat. Kabaq.io, which produces augmented reality food, has in fact been cooperating with Snapchat for a long time. Even beyond this collaboration, the company offers its customers a wide range of services, from food ordering to 3D Banner advertising to even AR storytelling.

As Kabaq.io took its place in the Creative Lens Studio program, we talked with the co-founder Alper Güler on AR focus.

How did you get involved in Snapchat’s Creative Lens Studio AR program? What are you doing under this program?

With Kabaq.io, we produce realistic 3D food models that can work in AR / VR projects since 2016. Before Snapchat Lens studio, we were demonstrating the models we produced in mobile application using platforms such as Unity and Unreal. In general terms, people do not want to download the application to experience AR and usage rates did not go to the levels we wanted.

On the first day Snapchat Lens Studio was announced, we produced various Snapchat Lenses using our models. While the team that approved the lenses and shared the lens among themselves, The Verge writer and Snapchat employee Ellis Hamburger put the lens on Twitter and spread the lens and it reached 1 million impressions in the first week.

Through Snapchat we have finally found the distribution channel we are looking for in the AR area. In the following period, we have developed relations with the Snapchat team and in April 2018 we were selected as Official Lens Studio partner. We started to produce Snapchat Lenses for brands such as Dominos, Subway, Dunkin, Grubhub and the economist.

The hype of AR is increasing, what innovations will be anticipated in the coming period? 

Large companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Snapchat invest billions of dollars in AR. Recently, we prepared a video that shows how much they talk about AR 6 minutes.

One of the things I’ve been looking forward to is the ability to easily share AR experiences on the web without any need for an application. As of today, Apple took the first step with the Quick Look feature. We will soon be able to run AR experiences on the web in all browsers and all phones.

What I’m most excited about in the medium and long term is the augmented reality glasses. I think that smart phones, which have entered every point of our life in 10 years time, will evolve to glasses of augmented reality in the next 10-15 years.

In this area, Google Glass, Microsoft Hololens and Magic Leap collecting about 6 billion dollars investment seems to be the head, but I think Snapchat’s Spectacles will be the first successful project in the field of AR.

What do developers expect from AR during the development and positioning of the marketing side?

For the last few years almost all brands have stopped developing applications in marketing projects. The biggest potential for AR in the field today is Snapchat Lens Studio and Facebook / Instagram Spark AR platforms. By working on these new software platforms, developers can design experiences that can easily be used and shared on social media platforms that already have billions of users.

How did Snapchat move the AR lenses to the desktop? Has it had a positive impact on your recognition by end users or brands?

As Kabaq.io is based on the World Lens (back camera) experience, it is obviously not a negative effect on this side. In general terms, I think that it will be positive for Snapchat, which has been troubling days with falling user rates.

How do you think will the future of AR be outside of mobile platforms? How can the relationship of Oculus and similar headings with AR be shaped?

Our biggest dream here is that AR goggles will become part of everyday life. When you’re sitting at home, and you are hungry, after you say “I’m hungry”, that through voice command system, AI will show you the items you might want to eat on your table, considering the orders you gave earlier. You can click on the dish you want and give your order.

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