Snap the 'highlight' of our bay

Updated: Sep 02, 2019, 08:10 IST | Ritu Ailani |

Snapchat's new feature uses augmented reality to bring India's monuments to life

Mumbai is known for the Gateway of India, an iconic monument that was constructed to commemorate the arrival of the first British monarch in India, in 1911. But recently, The Gateway of India has also become one of the first few monuments in the world to superimpose a Snapchat filter on its architecture.

Snapchat's parent company Snap Inc has expanded its operations in the country by introducing the Landmarkers feature to two Indian monuments, namely Taj Mahal in Agra and The Gateway of India in Mumbai. The application uses Augmented Reality (AR) to highlight the monument with embellishments of marigold flowers and white roses, with the national flag spread across its entrance.

Point the camera at the monument for the filter to pop up
Point the camera at the monument for the filter to pop up

Launched in April this year, the filter was formerly implemented in only five locations around the world: Buckingham Palace in London; Eiffel Tower in Paris; Flatiron Building in New York; TCL Chinese Theatre in Los Angeles and the US Capitol in Washington. It's simple to use. All one needs to do is point the camera in the direction of the monument, as the interface suggests upon opening the catalogue of filter options.

As silly as it sounds, the feature does make people curious to give it a shot. Given that the intention behind it was exactly that — to encourage their community of users to discover the world and engage in immersive experiences in locations that mean something to the people of that region — the filter fulfils its purpose. The only drawback is that it doesn't give users a choice with the embellishments.

Nonetheless, every day, thousands of people visit these venues and to give them this exclusive acess, makes it a special filter or rather, a special place. Moreover, it gives Snapchatters another reason to look forward to visiting these monuments and adds to their bucket list of 'things to do' when they get there.

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