‘City Painter’ – Snap

Augmented Reality Comics @ Ars Electronica Center

“Augmented Reality Comics “ by Ars Electronica is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Augmented reality (AR) is the real-time integration of digital information with the user’s environment. Unlike virtual reality (VR), which creates an entirely artificial environment, AR users experience a real-world environment overlaid with generated perceptual information.

Augmented reality is used to visually alter the natural environment or provide the user with additional information. Furthermore, digital information can alter the user’s perception of the real world, and the overlay can add to or mask parts of the natural environment.

The main benefit of AR is that it can combine digital and three-dimensional (3D) components with an individual’s perception of the real world to create an interwoven experience. AR has a variety of uses, from helping with decision-making to entertainment.

In October 2020, Snap launched ‘City Painter’ in London’s Carnaby Street. This augmented reality tool allows users to paint virtually over the shops on the street, decorating them with pre-created murals. “One of the most unique aspects of City Painter is that it is a shared augmented reality experience, meaning that other users can see any changes made by one person in real-time.

Snap aims to create a shared virtual world by mapping major landmarks. As the tool develops, there is no doubt that brands will have the potential to get involved, particularly travel or tourism brands looking to capitalise on consumers’ newfound desire for exploration and adventure.

However, there could be malicious modifications that could have an adverse impact.



Gillis, A. S. (2022, July). What is augmented reality (AR)? – Definition from WhatIs.com. WhatIs. https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/augmented-reality-AR

Team snap. (2020, October 8). Bringing City Painter to Carnaby Street, London – Snap Newsroom. Newsroom snap. https://newsroom.snap.com/city-painter/