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If you were salivating over the iPhone X’s new Animoji animated emoji, get ready for something even more exciting. Snapchat now has a feature that inserts your personalized Bitmoji into real-world scenes, augmented reality-style. The best part: Since it’s in the Snapchat app, you don’t need to buy a new phone to check it out.
Starting today, you can use Snapchat’s World Lenses feature with your Bitmoji. You can drag and drop your Bitmoji into the view from your phone’s camera, and then anchor it to a specific spot. You can then see your Bitmoji move around. It can just hang out onscreen, or it can do yoga, skateboard, and more. You can also adjust its size, scaling your Bitmoji smaller or larger, to your liking.
Snapchat introduced World Lenses last month as a way to use augmented reality in the app. With it, you can virtually insert 3D objects into a scene. In the app, you can swipe to scroll through the available World Lens options that day.
Snapchat’s World Lenses are just the latest example in a string of augmented reality developments over the past few years. Both Apple and Facebook have dedicated significant resources to the area, for example, with Apple’s ARKit for developers. Last year’s Pokémon Go craze showed there is a huge appetite for games that blend the real and the virtual worlds—if they’re done right. (Maybe Super Mario Bros. will be the next to get the AR treatment.) For Snapchat, which is already being so camera-focused, adding in more AR elements to the experience is a logical next step for the app, along with being a fun way to delight users.
And the Bitmoji animations you can use in World Lenses are cute and entertaining. We can’t help but wonder how long until you can record your own motions for your Bitmoji to mimic, though.
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.