Snap Teams With Verizon to Develop 5G Augmented-Reality Experiences

Verizon, in its ongoing quest to find killer applications for 5G wireless, has signed Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, as a new tech development and marketing partner.

Under the pact, the companies said, they will work together at Verizon’s 5G Labs to create new augmented-reality feature and experiences for consumers, including new ways to experience live sports, concerts and other events through Snapchat.

In addition, Snap and Verizon will work together on exclusive distribution and co-marketing initiatives. For example, Verizon will preload the Snapchat application on select 5G phones and provide exclusive offers to customers through programs like the VerizonUp rewards program. Also under the pact, Verizon will have premium sponsorship placements in Snap Originals video series.

Areas of joint development the companies are eyeing include using Verizon’s 5G network to supercharge Snap’s Landmarker tech, which enables location-based AR experiences in real-time, and Snapchat’s Portal Lenses, which can virtually transport concertgoers backstage or give sports fans unique in-stadium experiences.

The high bandwidth and low latency characteristics of 5G “are fueling the future of augmented reality,” Snap chief strategy officer Jared Grusd said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with Verizon to move the industry forward through the development of creative and innovative 5G experiences on Snapchat.”

Verizon has inked other 5G development partnerships, including with Walt Disney Studios. It recently teamed with the NFL to award two game developers — Colorfiction and Juncture Media — $400,000 each to create football-themed mobile games tapping the telco’s 5G network that are slated to debut at Super Bowl LIV.

To date, Verizon has launched 5G Ultra Wideband mobile service in 18 U.S. cities as well as 16 sporting and entertainment venues across the country. The telco plans to expand its 5G footprint to at least 30 cities by the end of 2019.

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