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Ex-Googlers bring augmented reality to Holi selfies with a localised Snapchat

Look at the first of the three pictures carefully. It is not a simple snap taken on Holi, the Indian festival of colors. In fact, the colors are not real at all! They’ve been put on the face using an augmented reality (AR) app — and it’s not Snapchat.

MaskUp, an Indian app, has launched ‘Holi selfie face filters’ to mark the festival being celebrated today.

And by doing so, it has gone where better-known apps like Snapchat, Face Swap, and MSQRD have not — that is, brought in a specific Indian context to AR.

The app has been devised by Chennai-based Makesto Infotech run by ex-Googlers Jeyashankher Ramamirtham and Pradnya Karbhari. MaskUp was launched on Play Store on January 14 as a very early beta.

“We currently have about 5,000 monthly active users. Holi is our first major experience launch,” says Jeyashankher.


All you need to do is switch on the app, click on the box showing colors, and tap on the screen. Out flies a cloud of color and settles on your face! And this happens every time you tap, with a different color erupting on screen each time.

Holi marks the onset of spring in India, and true to the spirit of the season, people go wild putting colors on each other – dry powder, water, or even sticky paint that could take days to come off. MaskUp recreates that look, with fairly whacky results.

A green blotch around your nose, red on your right cheek, blue on the left, and yellow around the eyebrows!
This is an excerpt from the article published on Tech In Asia. You can read the full article here.