Snapchat and Skillenza together announce the winners of the first Lensathon in India. With the aim of making augmented reality even more accessible to Indian creators, the online hackathon was open for national participation in May, encouraging participants to create AR experiences using Snap’s Lens Studio.
The Lensathon received an overwhelming response, with over 1000 entries submitted from creators based all over India. Seven winners were selected by a panel of expert judges – including Snap’s SVP of Camera Platform, Eitan Pilipski and Global Head of Creative Strategy, Jeff Miller – and were picked for their originality, creativity and technicality of the design, as well as engagement with the community. They will receive a range of prizes including cash, Snap Spectacles and Snapchat swag.
The winners are a mixture of students and professionals in their early twenties based across the country. The lenses were inspired by a variety of themes including ‘Work From Home’, ‘Real Friends’, ‘Indian Summers’ and a social cause of choice. Twenty year old Akash Bajpai’s lens provides much needed entertainment to Snapchatters tired of working from home. Apoorva Pise, a computer science engineering student based in Kolhapur, created an intriguing space portal effect and 21-year-old Altafa Ansari’s lens – ‘Cosmic Architect’ – is a beautiful depiction of how large things are made up of small particles.
Eitan Pilipski, SVP of Camera Platform at Snap, said, “Since launching Lens Studio over three years ago, we have been inspired by the creative community that has emerged. The tool was built on one simple belief – that being able to create AR experiences should not be limited to software engineers or design professionals. 85% of registrants were students so it’s very exciting to see this desire become a reality, and to watch the community in India learning, innovating and bringing their ideas to life.”
Juhi Bhatnagar, Strategy and Business Development Lead, India at Snap, said, “With over 1000 lenses submitted, we were blown away by the creativity we saw and are thrilled to announce the winners of our first Lensathon in India. We have been hosting Lens Studio workshops for students over the past year, and believe that AR provides a unique opportunity for anyone to build digital skills. The Lensathon allowed us to reach more creators than ever, and we can’t wait for Snapchatters here in India to discover these new lenses.”
Subhendu Panigrahi, Co-Founder & CEO, Skillenza, said, “The Lensathon was not just a hackathon, but a pathway for many young minds to acquire new skills like Augmented Reality, and probably make a career out of it. It was one of the most well-received hackathons to have happened on our platform in the last few years. The content provided by the Snapchat team coupled with the hands-on virtual workshops helped the participants understand, and create many incredible Lenses. This hackathon was an amazing outlet for creativity and design. We would love to partner with Snapchat in bigger and larger activities for the Indian developer community.”
Lens Studio is a free desktop app launched by Snapchat in 2017, that provides the tools and templates needed to build digital skills, create lenses and share them on Snapchat. Since its launch, over 1 million lenses have been made by the community all over the world.