Google AR & VR Stories August 2

Google sharing some details on Tensor, its “first custom-built SoC,” was as important as today’s tease of the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro. In an interview, Rick Osterloh was asked about Google Tensor in the context of AR, and the hardware boss shared some rare thoughts on smart glasses.

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Google AR & VR Stories July 20

In May 2017, amid a big virtual reality push, Google announced that it acquired Owlchemy Labs. Known for Job Simulator and Rick and Morty: Virtual Rick-ality, Owlchemy shared today that it’s making a new VR game.

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Google AR & VR Stories July 5

In March, Google Maps AR navigation was updated to work inside complex buildings. After launching in some US malls, Google is expanding Indoor Live View to transit stations in Japan. 

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Google AR & VR Stories June 7

Google’s biggest consumer-facing augmented reality offerings today are Lens and Live View in Maps. At WWDC 2021, Apple announced it was planning to go after those two features with iOS 15 this fall.

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Google AR & VR Stories May 18

Google at I/O 2021 touted that it’s the only mapping platform with AR navigation. Building on that lead, Google Live View can soon be accessed without needing to get directions and just be used to explore the world with augmented reality. 

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Google AR & VR Stories April 19

Over the past few years, Google Search has added 3D models for various animals, dinosaurs, insects, planets, and other education items. Google is now introducing AR Pac-Man, 3D Hello Kitty, and Gundam with 14 iconic Japanese characters in total. 

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Google AR & VR Stories March 17

From Maps Live View to 3D Animals and other models in Search, Google’s current work in augmented reality is focused on phones. The other big investment is Google Lens, with it emerging today that the product is losing lead Aparna Chennapragada to Robinhood.

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Google AR & VR Stories February 18

The Mandalorian remains a big hit half-way through its sophomore season. Google has partnered with Lucasfilm on a free Android app to bring iconic and realistic moments to life using AR and 5G.

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Google AR & VR Stories February 15

Back in October, Google officially dropped support for its virtual reality platform with Android 11. Daydream is no longer receiving updates, and now can no longer access the Google Play Store or other VR discovery features. 

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Augmented reality glasses will fundamentally change how we use technology and our relationship to the internet. Facebook is vocal about its general plans, and Microsoft has HoloLens for enterprise, while the rumors around Apple’s offering is at an all-time high. On the hardware front, Google speculation is notably absent. The lack of AR glasses rumors is not yet disconcerting due to Google’s software work and acquisitions, but it could get so soon.

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Google AR & VR Stories January 26

In the early days of VR, Tilt Brush was widely regarded as a premier application that helped sell the platform’s immersiveness. Google acquired the painting app in 2015 amid their big, multi-pronged push into the space. Tilt Brush is no longer being actively developed, and Google announced today that it’s now open sourced.

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Google AR & VR Stories December 11, 2020

One highlight of this year has been the immense popularity of AR creatures from Google that helps replicate the great outdoors inside. Google Search has now added 50 new 3D animals in the biggest drop yet.

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Google AR & VR Stories November 13, 2020

Almost every tech company was invested in virtual reality five years ago and saw it as the future. One Google effort was to use VR as a means to let students go on virtual field trips. Expeditions is now being folded into the Google Arts & Culture app as the dedicated experience shuts down next year.

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Google AR & VR Stories October 15, 2020

The initial Live View concept that Google demoed at I/O 2018 saw the Maps application mark and overlay information over the real world. It was a more full-featured AR experience that was not limited to walking directions. Now two years old, Google is getting ready to fulfill that original vision.

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Google AR & VR Stories October 6, 2020

Google last year previewed persistent Cloud Anchors that can be tied to a specific location and lets information be permanently overlaid over the real world. With ARCore 1.20, it’s officially launching with a number of apps already taking advantage. Meanwhile, Google today showed off Earth Cloud Anchors.

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Google AR & VR Stories October 2, 2020

At last year’s hardware event, Google stopped selling the Daydream View, while many apps dropped support long before that. Google announced today that “Daydream VR software is no longer supported” and that it ended with Android 11.

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Google AR & VR Stories August 11, 2020

For the past several weeks, we’ve been tracking a math solver for Google’s visual search tool. Today, the Google Lens “Homework” filter was officially detailed and it covers more than just equations.

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Google Search adds 3D molecules and more to help teach chemistry at home

We’re well into August, which means the school year is growing ever closer to beginning while many of us are still stuck at home. To help us learn chemistry, Google Search has added a variety of new 3D models showing how certain molecules are formed.

Google AR & VR Stories June 25, 2020

Back in December, Google previewed how it could create a depth map for augmented reality using a single camera. The ARCore Depth API is now publicly launching on Android with several third-party apps already taking advantage of the technology.

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Google AR & VR Stories May 26, 2020

In November, Google Cardboard was open-sourced as the company stopped active development on the affordable, smartphone-based VR platform. As promised, Google today released the Cardboard Unity SDK to continue letting the community develop with the platform.

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Google AR & VR Stories May 8, 2020

In recent weeks, people have turned to virtual animals in Google Search to experience the outside world indoors. Google today is adding a 3D skeleton and other models, while revamping the AR viewer on Android.

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Google AR & VR Stories April 24, 2020

You can now easily record Google 3D animals on Android 

Even before stay at home orders, AR objects in Google Search were already a fun way to bring the outside world indoors. A new feature rolling out to Android today lets you easily record Google 3D animals.

Google AR & VR Stories April 1, 2020

Many today are looking for ways to stay entertained at home as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. In recent days, more and more people are discovering Google 3D animals in Search, with the company this evening releasing an ad highlighting the viral social media hit.

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Google AR & VR Stories March 31, 2020

When Google announced a ton of new 3D animals, planets, objects and more coming to Search at I/O 2019, little did we know just how useful they would become due to a global pandemic.

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Google AR & VR Stories March 28, 2020

At I/O 2019, Google unveiled the fantastic new 3D Animals alongside a flurry of other augmented reality filters for Lens and Search.

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Google AR & VR Stories February 14, 2020

Augmented reality is arguably the next big thing for its potential to replace the smartphone and change how people interact with technology. Across the industry, all efforts are currently phone-based with Google’s approach focused on Lens, Maps, and ARCore. However, a new report today shines further light on the situation — suggesting those efforts are largely the extent of the company’s AR ambitions at the possible expense of hardware glasses.

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Google AR & VR Stories December 23, 2019

Earlier this month, Google AR & VR announced that ARCore phones could detect depth using just a single lens. Object blending is now beginning to roll out in Google Search AR.

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Google AR & VR Stories December 9, 2019

ARCore is Google’s platform for augmented reality available to Android and iOS apps. To allow for more immersive experiences, a new ARCore Depth API allows any compatible phone to create depth maps from a single camera.

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Google AR & VR Stories November 6, 2019

Last month, Google stopped selling Daydream View as modern Android phones — including the Pixel 4 — lack support. The company’s mobile virtual reality offerings are being further diminished today as Google Cardboard gets open sourced.

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Google AR & VR Stories August 5, 2019

ARCore is Google’s platform for mobile augmented reality. It was announced in 2017, with Google later deprecating Tango for the current solution that does not require specialized sensors, cameras, or other hardware. Google today renamed the ARCore app on Android to “Google Play Services for AR.”

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Google AR & VR Stories August 1, 2019

Google last year updated the previously Tango-only Measure app to work with ARCore, the company’s platform for mobile augmented reality. The tool leverages AR to record distances, with version 2.2 rolling out a Material Theme revamp of the UI and smarter tools.

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Google AR & VR Stories June 11, 2019

Since I/O 2019, Google has launched a slew of augmented reality features from new Lens capabilities to 3D animals in Search. A previously announced Lens integration with the de Young museum in San Francisco is now also live.

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Google AR & VR Stories May 31, 2019

At I/O 2019, Google announced a slew of AR features, including Dining and Translation filters for Google Lens. The ability to preview animals via augmented reality in Google Search is one of the more whimsical additions and it’s now live.

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Google AR & VR Stories May 20, 2019

Last November, a minor spec bump to the enterprise-only variant of Google Glass received FCC certification, while benchmarks and images later leaked out. Glass Enterprise Edition 2 is now official, alongside the team graduating from X and moving into Google AR/VR.

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Google AR & VR Stories February 28, 2019

Earlier this month, Google provided the first demo of AR navigation in Maps for Android and announced that Local Guides will be the first users to gain access. Google this week is now reaching out to Local Guides on both Android and iOS.

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Google AR & VR Stories February 15, 2019

ARCore is Google’s platform for mobile augmented reality which does not require specialized hardware. As of December, it’s available on 250 million devices and powers features like Playmoji on the Pixel 3. The latest developer release today introduces a new Augmented Faces API and an ARCore Elements app for learning about basic principles.

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Google AR & VR Stories February 11, 2019

A report yesterday revealed that the upcoming Google Maps AR navigation mode is first being tested with Local Guides. Google is now detailing the “global localization” technique behind the feature and how it leverages a Visual Positioning Service, Street View, and machine learning.

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Google AR & VR Stories February 10, 2019

While real-time Google Lens was the big augmented reality announcement at I/O 2018, another exciting in-development feature was teased. Google Maps is working to leverage the camera to overlay walking directions, business listings, and other helpful guides. A first look today details the interface and that’s it coming first to beta testers.

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Google AR & VR Stories July 13, 2018

Just before I/O 2018, Google and Lenovo launched the first standalone Daydream headset with the Mirage Solo VR. We noted in our review that this impressive hardware is limited by the app ecosystem, but upcoming support for multiple controllers in Daydream might allow for more applications.

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Google AR & VR Stories June 15, 2018

Google releases Mac, Linux app for converting VR180 into standardized editing format

Just before I/O 2018, Google and Lenovo launched the first VR180 point-and-shoot with the Mirage Camera, while more devices are coming soon. The new format aims to be more realistic than 360° footage and to boost adoption Google today released a VR180 Creator app for desktop editing.

Google AR & VR Stories May 30, 2018

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.

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Google AR & VR Stories May 22, 2018

Announced as a “secret project” last year, Google today unveiled a high-resolution OLED display that more than triples the pixels per inch (PPI) count of current consumer headsets from HTC and Oculus. Created in partnership with LG, this screen has a 1443 PPI, wide field-of-view, and is optimized for mobile augmented and virtual reality.

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Google AR & VR Stories May 18, 2018

After releasing the first standalone Daydream headset earlier this month, Google is now reportedly working on creating an augmented reality headset. Initial hardware specs surfaced today, but the software portion of this rumored device is still completely unknown.

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Google AR & VR Stories May 7, 2018

One of the more impressive developer announcements at I/O 2017 was related to standalone virtual reality. With Seurat, mobile VR headsets can handle high-fidelity graphics typically associated with full desktop rigs. Ahead of this year’s I/O, Google is open sourcing the technology.

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Google AR & VR Stories May 3, 2018

Google Doodles are remarkably emblematic of the company’s whimsical nature and serve as an important, perpetual marker of an event or person. Today’s animation does both, celebrating the 1913 release of director George Méliès’ masterpiece The Conquest of the Pole. Google appropriately marked the occasion with its first-ever VR-enabled and 360° video Doodle.

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Google AR & VR Stories March 14, 2018

Virtual reality can allow for very immersive experiences, with Google actively investing in capturing moments with the point and shoot-like VR180 and professional Jump camera rigs. The company’s VR division is now experimenting with light fields to capture the world with much more realism.

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Google AR & VR Stories March 12, 2018

At the Society for Information Display’s 2017 conference, Google AR/VR head Clay Bavor announced a “secret project” to make very high-resolution displays for virtual reality. It now appears that Google is going to announce this OLED screen in May, with the initial specs being quite promising.

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Google AR & VR Stories January 29, 2018

Back in July, Google released a neat Minecraft-esque tool for creating and sharing 3D objects in virtual reality. Today, Blocks is getting a big update to version 4.0 that adds new themes, improved snapping, and a Labs section with prototype features.

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