Tech Innovators Part 4: Snap Inc (Snapchat)

14 Snapchat

This is the fourth in a brief series of articles looking at what kind of technology some of the world’s leading tech innovators are developing, and this part focusses on Snap.

A recent Snap patent describes a video communications service (such as FaceTime or Skype) but that incorporates an automatic payment platform. For example, an advisor charging by the hour could be called by a client who would be automatically charged the correct professional fee for the length of the call upon completion.

Object and facial recognition also appear to be important topics for Snap, being the topic of several recent patent filings. One such patent has been filed describing how the recognition of objects could lead to the generation of automatic filters or advertisers’ content (eg a coffee cup recognised in a Snap image or video could generate a coffee brand’s filter/advert).

Patents for facial recognition software able to blur out individuals who have selected privacy settings have also been filed. This could potentially mean that Snap Live Stories that have been filmed in public places (eg a concert) may be able to recognise other users that appear in the background and automatically blur their faces before going live if the recognised user has selected the relevant privacy setting. It could be an interesting development in the often-debated topic of online privacy.

Given the amount of R&D that goes on in these companies no doubt some of these projects will not proceed to commercialization, but those that do may soon be appearing on our devices.

For any aspect of Intellectual Property advice and overall strategy, please get in touch with the ip21 team.

Richard Jones, Business Relationship Manager for ip21 Ltd.