Snapchat and Jeff Koons Have Created an Augmented-Reality Art Treasure Hunt

Snapchat / Snapchat

Jeff Koons’s massive, balloon-like sculptures are normally hard to miss. But his latest installations—set to appear around Central Park, the Sydney Opera House, and other landmarks around the world—won't be immediately visible to visitors. To see them, you'll need to peer through the Snapchat app.

Snapchat ART is the newest way Snapchat plans to use its augmented reality technology, as TechCrunch reported. The project is kicking off with digital art from Jeff Koons (including his famous "Balloon Dog") that will be “hidden” in various spots around the globe. When you open the app in an area that's tagged with one of the virtual art pieces, you'll see a special Lens option at the bottom of your phone screen. Viewing your surroundings through the augmented-reality filter will make it look like the sculpture is right in front of you.

The international Snapchat art initiative—with installations debuting in the U.S., Canada, the UK, France, Australia, and Brazil—will exclusively feature art from Koons at the outset. But Snapchat plans to add works by more artists to the collection eventually, and anyone can apply to have their art included.

Snapchat ART comes several months after the photo-sharing app debuted World Lenses in April 2017, which allows users to stamp 3D text, rainbows, and dancing hotdogs onto real-life scenes. Unlike those initial World Lenses, each Snapchat ART Lens will be tied to a set location—much like the augmented reality game-changer Pokemon Go.

[h/t TechCrunch]