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Snapchat is launching art exhibits worldwide in AR

Tired of turning your face into a panda? You can now see giant balloon puppies in the park.

snapchat-art-in-park

Snapchat is placing augmented reality art exhibits worldwide.

Snapchat

Snapchat has been morphing your face into cats, dogs and White Walkers for years, and now the company is changing the way you see art.

The company's CEO, Evan Spiegel, announced Snapchat's new art feature Tuesday: a series of Lenses that will add augmented-reality sculptures by artist Jeff Koons to specific locations worldwide. These include Central Park in New York, the National Mall in Washington D.C., Hyde Park in London and the Sydney Opera House in Sydney.

When heading to one of these spots, the Snapchat app will display the Lens as an option when a phone is within 300 meters of the designated spot and will automatically load when moving closer to where the virtual sculpture would stand. While only viewable from inside of a phone, the sculpture will appear to be about three stories tall.

Sculptures include Koons' Balloon Dog, Swan, Rabbit, Popeye and Play-doh. Each sculpture will virtually stand at one of the locations for a few weeks at a time, and then rotate to a new location.

Snapchat recommends using an iPhone 6S or later loaded with iOS 11 or higher-end Android phones like the Samsung Galaxy S7 or later, the Google Pixel, LG G6 and HTC U11. The latest version of the Snapchat app will also be needed to see the sculptures.

Some details of this new art feature leaked early, according to a TechCrunch report citing both a countdown on art.snapchat.com and Jonah Grant, a software engineer claiming to have used a timehack on Snapchat's site.

Koons' work would just be the start for the platform, as artists would reportedly also get to submit their work to be added to Snapchat's exhibition style.

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First published Oct. 3, 11:42 a.m. PT.
Update 12:42 p.m.: Extensively updated after Snapchat officially launched the feature.