Snapchat is assisting your search for the perfect filter with ‘computer vision’

snapchat story
Finding the perfect Snapchat filters will soon get a bit easier. Snapchat recently confirmed that the app now uses “computer vision” to recognize what’s in the photo. Once the app recognizes what’s there, Snapchat displays suggested filters based on what that photo contains, turning up pet puns for a photo of Fido or tasty graphics for food photos.

The feature is first launching in a handful of common categories. The app now includes computer vision for recognizing food, pets, sports, and beaches, and Snap Inc. says it is working to expand the object recognition to additional categories. The filter recommendations began rolling out quietly last week, with the company recently mentioning that more categories will be coming in the future.

A photo of a pet, for example, will bring up a sticker of “it’s a pawty” while a beachfront shot will put an “ocean view” sticker into the top of that filter carousel, and food photos put a sticker for “what diet?” at the forefront.

As Snapchat’s filter options grow, the new features prevent users from having to dig through the options by putting the most relevant filters at the top of the filter options alongside the “smart filters” that add in the date, location, temperature, or speed.

The addition isn’t Snap’s first go-round with computer vision either — the technology already powers options like the ability to search through public photos in Stories and find a photo of a dog even if the word “dog” was never actually used. Snap Inc. has also patented a similar object recognition program that could help boost advertising, with companies paying to have their filter pop up when a user snaps a photo of a related object.

The update comes as Snap Inc. is preparing a major redesign for Snapchat after reporting disappointing financial results.  The company announced a redesign earlier this month, with CEO Evan Spiegel saying that the new design will make Snapchat easier to use. An anonymous source later said that the redesign would be coming on December 4 but Snapchat has not confirmed that information. Snapchat’s user base is currently largely made up of people between the ages 13 and 34 and Spiegel said the redesign is aiming to attract more age groups to the platform, as well as users from more countries.

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