Snapchat’s latest product update is giving the term “selfie” a whole new meaning.
The company is combining two of its most creative features: The cartoon avatars people can create for themselves called Bitmoji, and augmented reality technology, which lets users project images (like dancing hotdogs) into the real world through the app’s camera.
Snapchat users are able to superimpose their Bitmoji avatar into whatever environment they are looking at through the app’s camera. So instead of using Snapchat to film a hotdog dancing on your kitchen table, you’ll soon be able to film a cartoon version of yourself dancing on your kitchen table.
Snap was one of the first major consumer apps to launch augmented reality features, but the technology has grown in popularity. Others like Facebook and Instagram have started to roll out their own versions of Snapchat’s face-distorting masks, and Apple on Tuesday announced that the new iPhone will offer augmented reality technology, too.
But Snapchat has a slight advantage in the form of Bitmoji, which it bought for $64 million almost 18 months ago. Facebook and Apple can create fun augmented reality masks like Snapchat did, but neither company has a database of user avatars to dig into.