Snapchat’s new Lenses are not for your face

When I was a kid, I used to play a game with my cousins where the objective was to not touch the ground…because it was “full of crocodiles”. To do that, we’d move about by jumping around on the couches and furniture, and the last one to touch the floor would be the winner. You might know this game as “the floor is lava”, but the common theme is that this was always a game played in our imaginations.

Today, however, Snapchat has launched a new lens called The Floor is Lava and The Floor is Water which basically visualises those childhood games through the power of Augmented Reality (AR). Through the lens, you can transform the floor around you into a lava pit or body of water. 

To use the lens, first, launch your Snapchat app. Then, look for The Floor is Lava and The Floor is Water Lens on your Lens Carousel. You can also double tap your screen or tap the switch button in the upper right hand corner if you need to switch cameras.

Personally, I think it’s pretty cool, and it works well in both photos and video on my iPhone 7 Plus. Definitely give it a try.

While this game took place in my head when I was a child, we did see a resurgence in the popularity of The Floor Is Lava back in 2017 when it became a trending social media challenge. The rules were the same, but obviously, this time it was on the soc-med.

Now, with Snapchat’s new Lens, it’s even easier to visualise and I wouldn’t be surprised if it started gaining popularity once again.

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Over the past years, Snapchat has evolved their AR lenses from placing simple characters or objects into the “real world”, to sky Lenses and their famous Landmarkers. After that, we saw stuff like the Baby and Time Machine Lenses trend, and from that we get this. 

For those who are unfamiliar, AR is the technology that enlarges our physical world, adding layers of digital information onto it. Unlike Virtual Reality (VR) that creates whole new environments, AR only appears in direct view of an existing environment adding sounds, video and graphics to it.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly called these filters. In Snapchat’s vocabulary, there is a difference between Filters and Lenses, so to avoid any confusion the article has been edited.