Snapchat is a great place for messaging friends and watching bad reality shows — but did you know it can also be used to learn ASL via augmented reality? Augmented reality (or AR) gets thrown around a lot these days. Apps like Wayfair use AR to assist folks shopping for furniture, there are AR educational models in Google Search to help kids learn about different subjects, and numerous companies have created (or are in the process of making) their very own AR glasses.
Along with companies like Apple, Google, and others, Snap has also become rather involved in the AR niche. Snap uses AR for immersive filters in Snapchat, it’s developing new Spectacles that are entirely focused on creating new AR experiences, and it’s regularly finding new ways to expand the technology. Today, AR can be used in Snapchat for shopping, playing games, education, and more.
One of the What To Expect From Snapchat’s ASL Lensesmore fascinating ways Snap’s utilizing AR is with special Snapchat lenses that teach users how to fingerspell in American Sign Language. In a press release from Snap, the company explains it created the lenses in partnership with SignAll — a startup dedicated to creating technology for Deaf people. After launching its own Ace ASL mobile app for Android and iOS earlier in 2021, the company partnered with Snap in September to bring these ASL lenses to life.
What To Expect From Snapchat’s ASL Lenses
Snapchat has three ASL lenses for users to choose from (all of which can be accessed by scanning the codes above within the Snapchat app). The first ASL lens teaches users how to fingerspell everyday words — such as ‘love,’ ‘smile,’ ‘hug,’ and others. The second one takes someone’s Snapchat username and teaches them how to fingerspell it. Finally, the third lens guides people through fingerspelling the alphabet. Users can sign to themselves and keep it at that, or record a video of their signing and share it with a friend.
While using a dedicated ASL app is still more useful for serious learning, having these lenses built directly into Snapchat is a fantastic way to expose more people to the world of American Sign Language. Whether someone has a Deaf family member, encounters a Def customer while at work, or wants to be more familiar with the language, having a basic understanding of ASL is a great tool for anyone.
And, thanks to these Snapchat lenses, getting started is easier than ever. Open the app, hold your phone up to one of the codes above, and tap the scan icon in the center of the bottom bar. If that doesn’t work, open the Snapchat app, tap the search icon in the top-left corner, and search for ‘fingerspell.’ Have fun!
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