A smart use for Snap’s open AR platform is to preview real-sized menu items

Snap publicly launched its Lens Studio this past week, meaning that brands and general people can create their own augmented reality lenses. We figured brands would take advantage of the platform and maybe even pay Snap for promotion of their work. But today, we saw an actually inventive idea for the custom lenses: to preview your food.

Snap employee (and former Verge writer) Ellis Hamburger tweeted that restaurant owners could create their own lenses and share the Snapcode to them on their menu. Customers could then view the food before ordering in AR. The only way to retrieve a friend’s lens is by scanning its Snapcode, which essentially works like a QR code in Snapchat. The Snapcode is viable for a year after it’s created, so users can unlock it multiple times.

This is a cool use of the platform, even if zero restaurants take advantage of it. Using AR to preview your food makes just as much sense as checking Instagram tags, which I do all the time. Plus, seeing the food in front of you makes it more appealing, so long as it’s a nice image. I’d be into this.

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