As promised, Google has begun rolling out augmented reality features on Search. At its I/O developer conference this past May, the company announced one of the first implementations — AR models, which allows users to actually look at a search result in 3D with the help of computer-generated models.
Now, iPhones and Android handsets that support ARCore or ARKit can now be used to search for certain animals and check out life-sized models of them right from within Search. Only a select few animals are available at the moment, including a tiger, lion, giant panda, rottweiler, wolf, and a few more others.
How To See Animals Up Close With Google Search
To use it, simply open Google Search on a compatible device, then search for an animal. If the animal has an equivalent 3D model — CNET's Scott Stein has uploaded a list of the ones he's found — it'll show up in a small box alongside statistics, an animated thumbnail, and a "View in 3D" button, which lets users see a life-sized rendering of the animal up close.
Clicking the button will open the 3D model, and from there users can clock on the AR tab to see it come alive in the actual, physical word. It might take a few minutes to load the animals sometimes, but as The Verge notes, when it finally works, it works pretty well. It was able to show a tiger, golden eagle, and a wolf in a backyard. Taking screenshots of these animals while in AR mode is also possible.
"It's one thing to read that a great white shark can be 18 feet long. It's another to see it up close in relation to the things around you," Google said in a blog post back in May. "So when you search for select animals, you'll get an option right in the Knowledge Panel to view them in 3D and AR."
Google And Augmented Reality
Google says it's working with a number of companies to make more AR models of objects. So, expect to see things related to NASA, New Balance, Samsung, Target, and Visible Body, Volvo, and Wayfair soon on Search. Moving forward, users will be able to interact with, say, a model of the human anatomy or a pair of sneakers.
Those aren't just Google's experiments with AR, either. It's also testing a navigation feature for Google Maps, and has been rolling out AR Playmoji stickers that users can toy around with.