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Snapchat Quietly Acquires Computer Vision Startup Seene: 3D Selfies Coming Soon

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Snapchat's popularity in the world of social media continues to grow and its recent acquisition of a startup company could propel its progress even more.

According to recent reports, Snapchat has acquired computer vision startup Seene, a company that specializes in the making and application of 3D content on an internet-scale.

Seene's technology enables users to only use their smartphone's cameras, be it the front or rear-end, to capture their faces and render those in 3D on their mobile devices. The app can also be used to recreate 3D geometry of objects in the real world which can be used for various purposes in digital technology, and even virtual reality (VR).

While most VR apps capture a 2D image of your subject and inject a 3D model into it, Seene actually builds its 3D renders around real-world things. Furthermore, Seene can also recreate a 3D setting using a smartphone's rear camera and its accelerometers - basically a combination of still photos and video, turning ordinary 2D images of places into interactive environments.

"We enable these [mobile] devices to locate themselves in space, map visual environments and recreate in 3D what is seen through the camera, turning a standard smartphone into a 3D scanner without the use of additional hardware or off-device processing," Seene's product page writes.

This technology effectively cancels out the need to use multiple devices, infrared technology and a cloud renderer while having an understanding of how these individual parts work together to produce 3D content, like those seen in Google's Project Tango or Microsoft's Kinect.

3D modeling of faces and real-world objects in VR has been brought closer to consumers, which reports suggest may also be another reason that Snapchat acquired Seene, aside from upgrading ordinary Snapchat filters onto a different level. Snapchat has yet to confirm its purposes for the acquisition though.

Anonymous sources from TechCrunch do specify that the social media company is more invested in Seene's research and development in the field of VR than its current capabilities in recreating 3D geometry, an area that Snapchat is also reportedly interested in.

Seene's 3D imaging capabilities can be viewed below:

Photo: Maurizio Pesce | Flickr

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