Ever wonder what it would be like to have a pet panda?
It’s not a good idea. It’s not even legal. Still, there’s nothing stopping you from finding out with a new feature from Google.
The biggest name in internet search, and arguably in the world, is using augmented reality (AR) technology to allow users to see what it might be like to bring home a lion, a tiger, or even a bear. Oh my.
“it’s one thing to read that a great white shark can be 18 feet long,” Google reports. “It’s another to see it up close in relation to the things around you. So when you search for select animals, you’ll get an option right in the Knowledge Panel to view them in 3D and AR.”
Using the Chrome browser on a smartphone, people can search for different animals and use the AR filter to see them in the kitchen, on the couch, or in the front yard.
Once you’ve found an animal that’s set up for AR, tap “View in 3D”, and you’ll soon see an animated, 3D model of the creature on your device. Then, click “View in your space,” move your camera around as the directions indicate, and soon you’ll see it come to life!
Google released this feature alongside a collection of other AR capabilities at the I/O 2019 conference. Through partnerships with NASA, New Balance, Samsung, Target, Visible Body, Volvo, Wayfair, and others, 9to5google reports, users will soon be able to use AR to explore much more than the possibility of a new pet. Soon, you’ll be able to test drive a car, try on new clothes, redesign your living room, or travel through space without leaving your home.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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