Beginning with Cardboard, Google has been keen on making virtual experiences, tours, and field trips available to a wide audience. Optimal for budget-conscious schools, Google last year launched Expeditions AR to allow for phone-based exploration. The app is exiting its pilot program and is now available for all Android and iOS users.
Expeditions AR is now open for all to try with an update to the Expeditions app today. Previously limited to a Pioneer Program, Google notes that one million students have experienced augmented reality trips in the past year. Any school or teacher can now use it in classrooms, while the public can also download the app and explore.
The first iteration of Expeditions relied on Cardboard or other virtual reality headsets. At I/O 2017, Google announced Expeditions AR where 3D objects can be brought into a shared space and viewed through individual phones and other larger screens, like the recently announced Acer Chromebook Tab 10.
This allows for a more collaborative and immersive experience with students able to physically get closer and see different angles of artwork or science concepts, while teachers can point out certain aspects.
The app features 800 standard VR and 100 AR tours created by Google Arts & Culture, as well as partner institutions like the Smithsonian and textbook publishers. Version 2.0 of the app has also redesigned the Discover, Guide, and Join sections.