Since last year, Google Search has been offering the ability to view animals - from tigers to pandas - as life-sized creatures in augmented reality (AR).
The capability works like a charm on Android/iOS devices and gives an opportunity to see a range of creatures up close.
Here's how you can try it on your smartphone, especially when you are at home, under lockdown.
The unique Search feature, as Google explains, lets you search an animal and view its life-sized avatar in AR.
So, if you use this, the 3D version of the animal in question appears in your current space, be it in living room or backyard, when seen through the phone's screen.
It also lets you take pictures showing the animal in the real world.
First, take an eligible device and search for an animal on Google.
On the results page, you'll see a box with an animated avatar of the animal and an option to 'View in 3D'; tap on this option and Google will create an on-screen 3D model of the animal.
Finally, click on the 'View in your space' button to reproduce it in augmented reality.
As the AR model is produced, you will see the life-sized animal avatar in your space (when viewed through phone's camera). The model's size can be increased/decreased and it also produces sounds, like the real animal, to give a complete experience to the viewer.
It’s AR of the tiger!— Google (@Google) May 31, 2019
If you’ve got an AR-enabled phone, you can now bring select animals right into your space for a safari (or safe snuggle) with Search. pic.twitter.com/kWpudETgeq
Now, before you go rushing to try this feature, do note that it only works on ARCore-ready Android phones and ARKit-ready iPhones.
Beyond that, the device in question also needs to have support for effective motion tracking, which combines camera image with motion sensor, as well as a "powerful enough CPU" to perform "effective real-time calculations."
The AR Search feature can be a handy tool to teach your kids about various animals.
However, beyond homes, the feature can be employed in schools to give students a better idea of animals.
Google also has plans to expand this capability for things like reproducing musculature models or shopping products, so that you can have a close look at products before buying them.
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