A Snapchat patent application shows off one idea for displaying smoother augmented reality images while using less processing power: build a giant is, detect where a user is looking, and insert digital objects that you've pre-placed to look good. The application, published yesterday but filed in late 2015, could apply to either a phone-based app or to augmented reality glasses. In the process it covers, Snapchat would first pinpoint a user's approximate location with GPS or a similar system. Then, it would match images from the user's camera against a set of what the filing calls "structure facade data."
If you're in a park, for example, Snapchat could ask you to hold up your phone and capture pictures of where you are. Since it would know your location, it could match those pictures against a limited set of data and figure out what's around you. Instead of trying to map depth and perspective on the fly, the app would grab information about the space you're in, then use it to place objects in a preprogrammed way that looks realistic. The image below shows a simple set of decals, but as you can see above, you could also chart a path for a giant dinosaur to invade reality.