The new £50 note, which honours Alan Turing, launches today. In a weird team-up, Snapchat has partnered with the Bank of England and the National Museum of Computing to use Snapchat AR technology to bring the £50 note to life.
Alan Turing was a mathematician, logician and cryptanalyst most famous for helping to crack German codes at Bletchley Park during WWII. And, it’s in fact Turing’s Bombe machine, which was used by cryptologists to decipher the Enigma-machine-encrypted secret messages, that you’ll see when the £50 note comes to life.
There’s also something of a rainbow theme, paying tribute Turing’s status as an LGBT icon, which is doubly fitting as the launch occurs during Pride month.
(Fans of RuPaul’s DragRace UK can argue amongst themselves about whether Snapchat’s Augmented Reality beats the realness served up by Tia Kofi’s Turing tribute in DRUK S2. But honestly, how could it?)
How to bring the £50 note to life in Snapchat
If you haven’t updated Snapchat recently, get onto that first. Here’s how.
If you’re an iPhone user, head over to Apple’s App Store, click the ID icon in the top right corner and scroll down to check the available updates. If Snapchat is on the list, click the update button to make sure you have the newest version.
Android users should go to the Google Play Store, click on the three lines in the upper left corner, then choose ‘My Apps & Games’, then ‘Updates’. Find Snapchat on the list and give the update button next to it a tap.
When that’s done, open your Snapchat app.
Now, choose the front camera and point the camera at this Snapcode.
When the code has been read, a pop-up will appear, saying,”New lens found. Unlock for 48 hours.”
Click to unlock the lens. Now here’s the hard part: find a £50 note.
If you don’t have one, head over to the Bank of England website and point the front camera at Alan Turning’s picture on the back of the £50 note. Not quite as cool, but it works.
Hover over it (or take a picture) and watch as the £50 note comes to life. Make sure your sound is on for the full effect.
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