Lego brick-building just went multiplayer and virtual in Snapchat. A free experience announced by Snapchat during its developer-focused Snap Summit livestream today overlays Lego bricks and models onto the real world with AR, but it also works with someone else nearby to try with you, or someone long-distance through the app. It's one of a number of new initiatives by the increasingly AR-focused social media app, which also announced a bigger build-out of tools for AR shopping experiences, and a partnership with Disney to layer AR effects at Disney parks.
The Lego news is a part of Snapchat's bigger push for collaborative AR experiences. Multiplayer AR has slowly been explored in some apps and games already, and Snapchat has explored some larger-scale shared AR in public spaces that are specifically mapped to work. The multiplayer AR that Lego uses, using a new Snap tool called Connected Lenses, points to where other collaborative AR applications could head.
Lego has already been active in AR, with its own AR-enabled brick sets and minifigures. The Snap experience, however, doesn't require any physical bricks at all.
Other AR-focused companies, like Niantic, have been pushing more towards multiplayer AR recently. Microsoft's new software platform, Mesh, is focused on collaborative cross-platform AR, too. It looks like Snapchat keeps pushing toward its own deeper AR experiences as well, which could also lead to an ecosystem working with AR glasses down the road.