After briefly showing it to the world prior to the Google I/O 2016 keynote, Active Theory has today released its Paper Planes tech “Android Experiment” to the world. It’s a fun little app that lets you put stamps on paper planes and send them around the world for others to catch, gathering more stamps along the way…

It’s worth noting that this is a tech demo — if you’re expecting a full-fledged game or app, you’re going to be disappointed. But it’s a cool tech demo, because it uses modern web tech like JavaScript and WebGL to do all the heavy lfiting.

Here’s how it works, via the Google Developers blog:

Users create and fold their own plane while adding a stamp that is pre-filled with their location. A simple throwing gesture launches the plane into the virtual world. Users visiting the desktop website would see their planes flying into the screen.

Later, users can check back and see where their planes have been caught around the world. Each stamp on the plane reads like a passport, and a 3D Earth highlights flightpath and distance travelled.

In addition to making their own planes, users can gesture their phone like a net to catch a plane that has been thrown from elsewhere and pinch to open it, revealing where it has visited. Then they can add their own stamp, and throw it back into the flock.

It’s actually kind of neat. If you head to on your phone and desktop, you’ll actually see the paper planes that you “throw” from your phone immediately appear on the screen amidst the other thousand planes. There’s no syncing needed, because the desktop app actually visualizes all planes that are taking off in live time.

You can grab the app on the Play Store, or head to on your mobile device. Both seem to work just fine.

We also told you last week that another demo that Google was showing off at I/O 2016 — the Queen VR experience — was also released to the public for the first time. Be sure to check that out as well.

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Stephen Hall

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