Since its release on Thursday, Elon Musk’s Tesla and pilot Starman have garnered hundreds of thousands of views on the platform. SVRF’s inspiration to make the portal came from the breathtaking images of Elon Musk’s Starman circling the earth in his Tesla Roadster. “We wanted to be Starman, to see and feel that beautiful immersive view of Earth and space,” said SVRF CEO, Sophia Dominguez. “So, we got as close as we could to actually being there by creating a VR world and AR portal to this world.”
AR lenses, especially portals like this, can be truly powerful at letting you feel like you’re “inside” the experience without putting on a headset.
Previous SVRF had turned their VR experiences featuring Pickle Rick of Rick & Morty and Oscar nominated Shape of Water into portals as well.
A new Snapchat lens appears as a portal to space. Users can enter, see Starman, and walk right back out.
That lens is just one of the latest products out of SVRF, a tech startup vying to be the best search engine for immersive content like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). The website also has an in-house studio that’s making creative experiences like the Starman lens for Snapchat.
For SVRF CEO and founder Sophia Dominguez, the viral lenses are among her effort to move the world beyond experiences isolated on their phone. She became interested in the topic while reading Feed, a young adult dystopian novel by M.T. Anderson, when she was 13.
“Everything is AR and VR. People have chips in the brains and it’s all advertising driven. When I read it, I freaked out. That’s why I don’t have Facebook because Facebook is that future, but I love the imagination. I knew I wanted to work on whatever is the past the phone,” Dominguez said.