An anonymous reader writes: TechCrunch has learned of a secret acquisition by Snapchat of a computer vision startup company called Seene. TechCrunch reports: "Seene lets you capture 3D models from your phone with a simple smartphone camera. Snapchat could use Seene's format for a brand new category of selfie lenses, a new 3D photo format, and potentially for future virtual reality projects. Seene scans and reconstructs full 3D geometry on your phone. Unlike Project Tango or Microsoft's Kinect, Seene doesn't need special infrared sensors and multiple cameras. Similarly, Seene doesn't need a cloud backend to process 3D scans and recreate 3D objects -- everything happens on the phone. For instance, you can scan your face in a few seconds and create a 3D selfie. It would make a lot of sense to use Seene's technology to improve Snapchat's selfie lenses -- including for advertising purposes. (Snapchat debuted sponsored lenses in fall last year, and charges a pretty penny to advertisers wanting to get their brand on people's faces.) Also last year, Snapchat acquired Looksery to power its selfie lenses. Combining Looksery's technology with Seene's technology would allow Snapchat to create more complex lenses with a real sense of depth. Think ads that people want to touch." While on the subject of lenses, U.S. inventors claim their flat lens made of paint whitener on a sliver of glass could revolutionize optics.