Sometimes it is about little things in life, bathing in the Sun, strolling by a lake, or taking a photo in front of Big Ben. Unfortunately for many Londoneers and tourists alike, the third option is currently off, as the world’s most famous Ben is covered by scaffolding as part of a 4-year restoration process.
But Snapchat comes to save the day. New Snapchat Augmented Reality lenses will allow users to pose alongside Big Ben for a holiday photo session. Snapchat’s AR Big Ben is a fully restored beauty, one that bongs and chimes as gracefully as ever. Given that the clock tower will be under renovation for another three years, it is a unique opportunity to snap a selfie with Ben.
Snap’s camera vice president Eitan Pilipski comes in praise of Snapchat AR lenses: ‘We are thrilled to unwrap big Ben for our Snapchat community in London. This holiday, we wanted to showcase the imaginative power of Snap’s Augmented Reality experiences by deconstructing the scaffolding around Big Ben’. It is a rather unique and very real way to improving the reality. If you are in London for holidays, then you know those scaffolds add little to the beauty of the Elizabethan tower. Started in August 2017, renovation is still ahead, and users can’t wait for so long to snap it.
‘At least for a few special moments’, adds Pilipski. A few moments is all that this iconic London landmark needs. Due to restoration, Big Ben has been almost silent and virtually non-descript. Prior to August 2017, the Bell tower was the most ‘selfied’ attraction in the city, luring tourists all round the globe for a little Ben moment. Now however, very few people reach for their phones and fewer still post their Big Ben image on social media. And this may even hurt London tourism a little.
Snapchat to the rescue! Things are not that dramatic, but AR Big Ben is itself a tourist attraction. These location-based AR models may at some point flip the coin and become sought-after objects. With Big Ben enabled Snapchat camera users will need to be within a 300 meter diameter of the tower for AR model to appear. Indeed, the Snap Big Ben lenses will not extend the full restoration period, only as far as holidays go. Yes, that does mean a couple of months, and yes, it does mean you can add AR Union Jack hat in a selfie.
Snapchat are the ones with vision. On a mission to become the ultimate camera company, Snap. Inc. has spread around the industry embracing Augmented Reality as something invaluable. Like the Amazon visual search deal, AR Big Ben is a piece of forward thinking, albeit on a much smaller scale. Let Pilipski’s words hover over text: ‘We believe that every great AR experience reveals new possibilities. Our goal was to bring together the most cutting edge mapping and imaging technologies to create the kind of unique, location-specific experience that only Snap – and perhaps father Christmas – can deliver’. Enjoy the holidays.