Beem app update lays the groundwork for the AR messaging app of the future

What do you want to know

  • The AR Beem messaging app just got a big UI overhaul and several new features, including a new home screen that lets users check in faster.
  • Holograms can now be saved and re-shared in the app’s gallery, and clips are now converted on the phone rather than in the cloud.
  • Beem aims to better position itself for future AR platforms and businesses with new backend changes.

Earlier this year, AR startup Beem received a round of new investment funding that went straight to a brand new app and backend update. While the initial version of the Beem app was new, the interface left a lot to be desired and relied heavily on communicating through other apps before starting the “holographic” experience.

The new Beem app update presents itself better as a messaging app right off the bat. Much like Snapchat or similar apps, Beem – which is a free download on Android and iOS – now starts with a camera viewfinder that encourages users to save messages immediately after opening the app. These messages are now rendered and converted on the device rather than in the cloud and can also be saved and shared as many times as you want.

When you want to see someone else’s Beem, you’ll be able to use your phone’s camera and screen to see their hologram – as Beem calls it – right in the room you’re in. While still a bit of a new concept on a 2D display like a smartphone, messaging apps like Beem will play a big role in a more visual and spatial type of communication on future smart glasses.

In an interview between Android Central and Beem Founder and CEO Janosch Amstutz, Amstutz told me that the company aims to create a messaging platform that can encompass the entire human communication paradigm. This not only includes voice inflection and facial expressions – as can be seen on a number of existing video chat platforms – but also full body language.

Beem app on Pixel 6 Pro

Beem Founder and CEO Janosch Amstutz shows me how Beem works (Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich/Android Central)

Both AR and VR play a valuable role in increasing the realism of the effectiveness of digital communication by giving users greater spatial awareness and, as numerous studies have pointed out, the ability to better remember what we talked about during the conversation. Beem is designed to take advantage of this spatial awareness by allowing its users to place “holograms” of people and their messages right in the same room.

Beem says he’s currently working on building a version of Beem for “a certain VR headset.” No doubt Amstutz means the Oculus Quest 2, which could further enhance that level of immersion using the Quest 2’s AR pass-through capability. In a nutshell, that means using the Quest 2’s helmet-mounted cameras to place a virtual object in the real world.

Beem is also targeting the professional market with its new Beem for Business license, which includes the ability to record at higher resolutions and for longer durations. It could allow apparel companies to show users more realistic representations of something they want to buy, give companies a more immersive way to train their employees on the job, and many more examples where to have a holographic representation of something they want to buy. a person in a physical space would reinforce the message.

Amstutz told me that Beem’s unique holographic communication style helps build the messenger’s credibility. The idea is that our brain trusts something that can be seen in space more than something that’s on a flat screen. Whether it’s news coverage or a special Valentine’s Day message sent to a lover, Beem hopes to be part of the next evolution of communication.

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