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Snapchat Adds Speech-Activated Lenses to Its Augmented Reality Capabilities

Snapchat users are used to raising their eyebrows or opening their mouths to activate augmented reality face effects. Now, they get to use their voices as well.

On Wednesday, the speech-activated Lenses will begin appearing in the carousel and will continue to show up occasionally from here on out.

The first voice-activated examples include saying “okay” to add corresponding stickers, and saying “love” to activate a flourish of hearts (awww). Other examples include saying “wow” to prompt a camera zoom or stickers popping up in the background, or saying “hi” to summon a flock of digital ducks.

At launch, Snapchat will only respond to a select list of English words, with on-screen prompts for the user to repeat.

The new capability is an extension of the sound recognition capability that Snapchat rolled out earlier this year.

In fact, Snapchat’s engineers have been extra busy adding new capabilities to the AR experiences of late, including body tracking and sky segmentation.

With Facebook nipping at its heels with AR camera effects and other innovations, Snapchat has no room to rest on its laurels. This latest feature proves that the company is indeed fighting hard to carve out its piece of AR’s future.

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