Snapchat has introduced a new feature that allows users to take selfies that appear three dimensional.
According to a new press release from the social media platform, the new feature — aptly dubbed 3D Camera Mode — lets users take Snaps that can change perspective and appearance as you move your smartphone around. To make this effect happen, Snapchat is taking advantage of Apple’s TrueDepth camera system, which the Cupertino firm uses for features such as Face ID and Animojis.
Using the depth data from compatible smartphones, the 3D Camera Mode reconstructs the selfie, allowing the movement of the smartphone to adjust the perspective of the image so that the selfie appears to pop out of the screen. The 3D image can be mixed with new Lenses and Filters that also add dimension to the Snap, and perfected in preview mode before sending.
Naturally, the fact that the feature requires Apple’s TrueDepth camera system means the new 3D Camera Mode only works for Snapchatters with an iPhone X and newer, although these three-dimensional Snaps can be viewed by anyone on the app. So, if you have an older iPhone or an Android phone, you can enjoy your friends’ 3D selfies, you just can’t create any of your own.
“With the introduction of depth and interaction, Snaps can capture even more detail about how the world looks and how you feel,” says Andrew McPhee, Senior Manager of Exploration at Snap Inc. “Together with our new 3D Effects, this feature adds a new layer of expression to bring your Snaps to life in a way that’s a step closer to the real thing.”
The update comes after 3D effects arrived with Spectacles 3 in August. Unlike the camera mode in the app, the Spectacles 3D option is designed for the “world-facing” camera, not for selfies.