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Snapchat acquires 3D photo app Seene, expect 3D selfies

Snapchat is growing at a stellar rate, having surpassed Twitter in user numbers according to a new report, for one.

Now, TechCrunch reports that Snapchat has stealthily bought 3D photo startup Seene.

Seene’s work involves capturing 3D models with a simple smartphone camera – no specialised hardware needed at all.

This approach is a different one to the likes of Microsoft’s Kinect and Google’s Project Tango, which requires infrared cameras and/or multiple cameras.

What does Seene do?

In fact, Seene has an Android and iOS app out for a while now (the former chalking up between 100 000 and 500 000 downloads), giving users the ability to create 3D selfies, 3D scenes, VR-compatible scenes and refocus/depth effects.

Once you’ve taken a 3D photo, the app then gives you some parallax trickery, allowing you to tilt your phone to move the scene.

“Taking a seene on your phone is quick and simple. Point your phone at your subject and move smoothly in one direction – the app will do the rest. See around your subject by tilting your phone in your hand,” read an excerpt of the app’s description.

In other words, the possibilities of parallax-style selfies and 3D scene captures seem to be a no-brainer for Snapchat down the line. But it’s not out of the question for us to see Snapchat get in on some VR action too.

TechCrunch said that Seene’s team, split between the USA and UK, will relocate to Snapchat’s Los Angeles headquarters, although one senior engineer isn’t making the move.

As for a price, the publication “understands” that it was a cash and share deal for a low price.

Have you tried Seene yet? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments.

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings almost seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More
  • Martin White

    Is it possible to convert those 3d photos and print them on 3D printers?