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Transforming text to AR: Backed by Betaworks and Greycroft, Shader’s AI-driven real-time camera app

Photo of the Shader Team
Shader team. Image credits; Shader

Augmented Reality (AR) has become a powerful tool for content creators across a vast array of social media platforms. The equation is simple: increased engagement leads to increased revenue, whether it’s generated from the platform itself or through sponsorships and advertising. When leveraged effectively, AR can supercharge engagement by an impressive 200%, making it an indispensable tool in the toolkit of many successful content creators.

However, until now, general users have been confined to using pre-existing visual effects, uploaded by those proficient in coding. The creation of personalized AR assets has remained a complex and time-consuming task, typically undertaken only by designers and engineers with specialized coding skills and experience in 3D modelling, texturing, and animation.

The landscape of AR is constantly evolving. Now, in an industry first, Shader, a San Francisco-based startup founded by Darya Sesitskaya, former Snap design lead, has taken a giant leap in the realm of Augmented Reality (AR) with the launch of its AI-powered real-time camera app. The platform introduces Text-to-AR effects seamlessly, eliminating the need for coding skills. Backed by $580K from notable investors such as Betaworks, Greycroft, Differential Ventures, Mozilla Ventures, and On Deck, Shader is set to redefine the landscape of AR creation.

Revolutionising real-time camera experience

Shader’s innovative real-time camera product is the first of its kind, seamlessly integrating text-to-AR effects. This transformative technology, developed by a team of experts from Snap, Blizzard, and Oxford PhDs, is a brainchild of Darya Sesitskaya. The app is designed to empower users and content creators by offering a tool that effortlessly generates custom effects, masks, and lenses, thereby revolutionising the real-time camera user experience.

From desktop to instant creation

Shader disrupts the conventional AR effects creation process, turning it from a time-consuming desktop task into a process that takes mere seconds. Users can now style photos with a specific aesthetic or craft an original AR effect with a short prompt in real time. For instance, imagine adding a trendy cyberpunk mask to a video instantly while attending an event. The Shader camera app eliminates the need to search for the perfect filter – users can open the app, select a photo, or stay in camera mode, and type a prompt like “make me more cyberpunk.” That’s all it takes to enhance and share creations across social media platforms.

Web version for seamless integration

Shader has recently introduced a web version, ensuring the technology seamlessly functions on any browser, be it mobile or web. This opens avenues for Shader AI to be effortlessly incorporated into video calling or streaming platforms, either as a plugin or API, expanding its reach and impact.

Shader’s vision for the future

Shader’s Founder and CEO, Darya Sesitskaya, articulated the company’s mission, stating, “Our mission is to make AR/AI effects accessible to everyone, empowering users to easily create personalized content. Shader is expanding into various social face filters, including background, clothes, and hair, prioritizing user-friendly design principles to unlock new possibilities for the four hundred million creators on social media. In the near future, we also plan to implement the ability to create voice-to-AR effects and 3D background replacements”.

A thriving ecosystem

The global creator economy, valued at over $100 billion, has witnessed substantial investments from major venture capital firms, resulting in the creation of more than 15 “unicorns” with valuations exceeding $1 billion. Shader positions itself strategically in this landscape, offering a platform that aligns with the evolving needs and expectations of content creators.

As Shader continues to empower users with its cutting-edge AR technology, the platform emerges as a catalyst for self-expression, creativity, and innovation in the dynamic world of social media. The release of Shader’s AI-powered real-time camera app marks a significant milestone in the convergence of AI and AR, setting the stage for a new era of immersive and personalised content creation.

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