Snapchat Secretly Acquires Seene, A Startup That Lets Mobile Users Make 3D Selfies

An anonymous reader writes:

TechCrunch has learned of a secret acquisition by Snapchat of a computer vision startup company called Seene. TechCrunch reports: "Seene lets you capture 3D models from your phone with a simple smartphone camera. Snapchat could use Seene's format for a brand new category of selfie lenses, a new 3D photo format, and potentially for future virtual reality projects. Seene scans and reconstructs full 3D geometry on your phone. Unlike Project Tango or Microsoft's Kinect, Seene doesn't need special infrared sensors and multiple cameras. Similarly, Seene doesn't need a cloud backend to process 3D scans and recreate 3D objects -- everything happens on the phone. For instance, you can scan your face in a few seconds and create a 3D selfie. It would make a lot of sense to use Seene's technology to improve Snapchat's selfie lenses -- including for advertising purposes. (Snapchat debuted sponsored lenses in fall last year, and charges a pretty penny to advertisers wanting to get their brand on people's faces.) Also last year, Snapchat acquired Looksery to power its selfie lenses. Combining Looksery's technology with Seene's technology would allow Snapchat to create more complex lenses with a real sense of depth. Think ads that people want to touch."

While on the subject of lenses, U.S. inventors claim their flat lens made of paint whitener on a sliver of glass could

revolutionize optics


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Soothe Yourself This Weekend Watching Bob Ross Paint, Thanks to Netflix

Truly a great week for fans of soothing streaming TV options. Not only will Julie Andrews be doing a show about the performing arts with puppets, but Netflix has also added Beauty is Everywhere, one of the shows by beloved, gentle-voiced, slightly nap-inducing painting teacher Bob Ross.


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Death by GPS

Why do we follow digital maps into dodgy places?

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Giphy launches a keyboard for iOS called Giphy Keys

giphykeys With all of Giphy’s integrations with chat platforms, it was only a matter of time before the betaworks-backed GIF platform launched its own keyboard. World, welcome Giphy Keys into the mix. The Giphy Keys third-party keyboard launches on iOS today, and lets users send GIFs from any app they want. Even Snapchat. Here’s how it works: Once you’ve downloaded the Giphy Keys app… Read More

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TSA lines grow to 3 hours, snake outside the terminals, with no end in sight


The TSA gambled on millions of wealthy Americans opting out of its pornoscanner-and-shoe-removal process and signing up for its Precheck policy, which allows travellers to pay for the "privilege" of walking through a metal-detector with their shoes on, while their laptops stay in their bags. (more…)

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How to be an IRL Snapchat filter, starring Diane von Furstenberg


When in doubt, use a filter.

At least, that's what Diane von Furstenberg appeared to do at Monday's Met Gala in New York City.

For the biggest night of fashion, the 69-year-old fashion designer appeared to wear a complete ensemble that looked exactly like a Snapchat filter. 

In a metallic gown, celebrating the night's techy theme, Manus x Machina, she sported colorful butterflies as accessories in her curly mane. 

"What do butterflies mean to technology, you will ask," she wrote on her blog. "Well, nature is still a pretty amazing technology, I will answer! I showed the astonished salesperson my old photo and she cleverly figured out how to apply the butterflies without touching them. We both know that by the end of the night, they will have been pulverized!" Read more...

More about Snapchat, Lifestyle, Fashion, Met Gala, and Diane Von Furstenberg

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Major hotel chain to grow vegetables at 1000 properties to cut food waste

Accorhotels, which includes Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis, will reduce number of main courses on offer and record all food thrown away

One of the world’s biggest hotel chains has announced it will plant vegetable gardens at many of its hotels as part of a plan to cut food waste by a third.

AccorHotels, which includes the Pullman, Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure and Ibis chains, intends to “reduce food waste by 30%, in particular by sourcing food locally”, chief executive Sebastien Bazin said on Tuesday.

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How Snapchat Killed the Homepage


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Reddit removes “warrant canary” from its latest transparency report

CEO is staying mum: "I've been advised not to say anything one way or the other."

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Robin Wright to join Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner sequel

The follow-up to Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic is close to locking in the House of Cards actor as one of the film’s three major female leads, according to Variety

Robin Wright is close to a deal to star in the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, which will also bring back Harrison Ford and add Ryan Gosling, Variety reported.

The sequel, to be directed by Oscar-nominated Denis Villeneuve, will pick up several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original, a cult favorite. The original Blade Runner, based on the 1968 Philip K Dick story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, starred Ford as Rick Deckard, a detective in 2019 Los Angeles, tracking down Replicants (genetically engineered clones) who have returned to Earth illegally in order to extend their four-year life spans.

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car, rock, and Twin Peaks image

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Study: People Who Point Out Typos Are Jerks

According to a bunch of fancy linguists, people who are more sensitive to written typos and grammatical errors are indeed the kinds of Type A assholes everyone already suspects them to be.


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