Snapchat has shown a definite willingness to embrace augmented reality (AR) recently, and has now gone a step further with the announcement of a new kind of Snapchat AR pet called the puggerfly.
The pug has become beloved to many denizens of the internet thanks to its cheerful nature and faintly ridiculous appearance that makes it a great candidate for perennially popular internet memes. Snap and UK mobile company Three have combined the pug with the butterfly to create a new kind of creature to be a virtual pet.
Combining elements of virtual pets, which have been popular since the 1990s along with modern AR technology Snap have created a kind of AR virtual pet which can be used in seven AR lenses, in selfie mode and in world mode.
Following the puggerfly through its life as it grows up from a playful flying puppy into an adult will tell a story. Users will be able to teach the puggerfly how to recognise your gestures, so a specific gesture command will make your AR friend go and fetch his leash.
In world mode, users will be able to take the AR puggerfly for a walk and see it interact with the real-world environment. The puggerfly will even sync up with real-world time zones, so he is awake during the daytime and sleeping at night.
Snapbooths dedicated to the puggerfly will be in Three retails stores, and users will be able to get an exclusive lens by visiting participating retails stores.
Snap have also said that users will be able to use this feature without it eating into the mobile data allocation, though how this works has not yet been confirmed.