Snapchat to launch augmented reality art platform tomorrow

Snapchat plans to launch a new augmented reality art platform featuring pop artist Jeff Koons and others. It will allow art to be pinned to specific locations in augmented reality so users can see it when they hold up their phones in the right spot. Snapchat will solicit sign-ups from artists who want their art added to the platform.

Snapchat plans to roll out the feature with Koons’s art around the world as seen in these photos from Las Vegas, Sydney, and Paris.  A source tells TechCrunch the feature is based on technology from Cimagine, an Israeli AR startup Snapchat acquired in December. Similar tech powers its World Lens’ like the dancing hot dog that got over 1.5 billion views on Snapchat, plus its new Sponsored World Lens ads.

How Snapchat Leaked Its Own Launch

Today a strange “art.snapchat.com” URL featuring a countdown to 3PM eastern time Tuesday over a photo of Central Park and New York’s skyline appeared. When TechCrunch asked Snapchat about it, a company spokesperson told us “😊 we’re excited to share more soon”.

But our savvy readers discovered that using a time hack, you could trick the site to show what will be launched, ruining Snapchat’s big countdown. Now Snapchat has apparently disabled the hack method, but we’ve collected all the details now. The countdown expiration and launched are timed with Snap CEO Evan Spiegel’s talk at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit.

TechCrunch reader Paul Stamatiou sent us this video rip via Jonah Grant that depicts a now-removed YouTube video detailing a Snapchat partnership with Jeff Koons that puts one his iconic blow-up animal balloon pop-art sculptures in Central Park. Unfortunately the video is silent but you can get the gist of it.

Essentially, when users are nearby a piece of Snapchat ART, they’ll see a special Lens available. An indicator will direct them which direction to look until the location marker is in frame, at which point they’ll see the AR art on…

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