Funding the Next Generation of AR

Ghost is Snap’s AR Innovation Lab—designed to unlock the next generation of augmented reality products that help people shop, learn, play, and solve everyday problems around the world.

Fellowship Overview

Ghost provides grants to support AR exploration and product development across many industry verticals, including Education, Navigation & Accessibility, Gaming, Health & Wellness, Fashion & Retail, Manufacturing, and more. Fellows engage with Snap’s creative & technical teams in a flexible R&D environment to explore new AR use cases that leverage the most advanced capabilities in Lens Studio. 
Candidates have the option to apply for either a Research or a Product grant based on their goals and expertise.

Product

At Snap, we’re excited about the many ways we’ve seen developers leverage camera technology to solve problems for people and businesses all over the world. Through Ghost, we’re committed to supporting experimental AR product development with potential to make a positive impact on our global community. If you’re interested in developing an AR product or business that leverages the Snap platform, consider applying to one of the tracks below:

Prototype Track
This track is best suited for developers that have identified a clear problem statement and a potential solution they’d like to explore or validate, but haven’t yet determined if they plan to launch to consumers and sustain their product as a business. By the end of the term, Fellows should have a working proof of concept that can serve as the foundation or inspiration for a future product in their industry.

Mobile Grant: $75,000USD 
Est. Fellowship Term: 3-6 Months

Spectacles Grant: $250,000USD 
Est. Fellowship Term: 6-12 Months
Launch Track
Candidates should apply for this track if they’ve established a clear vision for an AR product they aim to launch and sustain as a potential consumer-facing business. This track is best suited for developers that have already gained some traction in their problem space, and have developed early prototypes to inform their roadmap. By the end of the term, Fellows should have a Lens product that’s ready to launch to consumers.

Grant: $150,000USD 
Est. Fellowship Term: 6-12 Months

Research

With SnapML, developers can train and leverage machine learning models to power increasingly complex solutions on Snap’s AR platform. Through hand and body tracking, audio classification, segmentation models, and more, SnapML helps accelerate AR innovation.
Through Ghost, we’re funding research that leads to new machine learning models with potential to advance AR product development.
This track is best suited for individual developers and research teams with professional-level expertise in machine learning—specifically in the fields of deep learning for computer vision, speech, audio, and natural language processing. If you or your team believe in the power of AR & ML working hand in hand and are interested in pursuing high impact R&D work, consider applying for an ML Research grant.
By the end of the term, Fellows should have a paper, notebook, or Lens Studio project that demonstrates the outcome of their research.

If you’re interested in leveraging a new or existing model to power a specific product, please apply to either the Prototype or Launch track instead.

Grant: $50,000USD
Est. Fellowship Term: 3 Months

Product Design Guidance

At Snap, we strive to design joyful, responsible, and inclusive products. As we continue to release technology that overlays computing on the world around us, we aim to build and fund accessible products designed with transparency, privacy, and the many dimensions of human identity and experience in mind. Ghost Fellows will have access to resources from Snap’s internal teams, with the opportunity to embed inclusive design principles into the product development process from ideation to launch.

Early Access to Lens Studio

Ghost Fellows receive early access to Lens Studio, and direct contact with engineering to explore Snap’s most advanced AR tools and capabilities well before they become available to the general public. Fellows will leverage powerful features like Machine Learning with SnapML, Scan, and Connected Lens technology, plus get a glimpse of the upcoming roadmap to experiment and plan ahead for product enhancements.

Global Distribution

On average, over 250 million daily active users (DAUs) engage with augmented reality on Snapchat every day.1 As Ghost Fellows explore and launch new AR use cases across our platforms, we’ll help them leverage UX testing and tools like Lens Analytics to think about the most effective ways to engage Snap’s global audience and achieve their business goals.

How to Apply

  • Ghost is best suited for developers, teams, and companies with professional-level creative and technical expertise, as well as experience shipping mobile apps and games. 
  • Candidates may submit proposals for one or more tracks for consideration, but should indicate their first choice in the application.
  • We usually review applications at the end of each month. If you submit a proposal in May, you can expect to receive an update from the Ghost team in June, but in some cases it may take us longer to evaluate and provide updates.
  • If your project is selected for consideration, you will be contacted to schedule an interview with Snap’s internal engineering, product, and partnerships teams.
  • After a candidate has completed the interview stage, Snap will communicate the final application decision in writing.
  • You can review the Ghost Fellowship Terms here.
  • Please send a note to ghost-fellows@snap.com if you have any questions about Ghost or the application process.
1Snap Inc. internal data Q1 2022. See Snap Inc. public filings with the SEC