Google AR & VR Stories November 17

Back in September, Google previewed the ability to search for nearby places using augmented reality. AR search in Google Maps Live View will start rolling out next week, while Google Lens multisearch will let you take a food picture and see where the dish is available nearby. 

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Google AR & VR Stories October 23

In August, Google started real-world testing of AR (augmented reality) prototypes in the US, and is now expanding to Canada.

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Google AR & VR Stories October 12

Google made its augmented reality (AR) work official at I/O 2022 in May, and is now using Glass Enterprise to test productivity-focused capabilities with the help of Workspace and Pixel phones.

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Google AR & VR Stories October 11

Google testing Project Starline 3D video calling booths in more offices this year

In addition to a slew of Workspace updates at Cloud Next 2022, Google shared today that Project Starline is entering the “next phase of testing,” where more people outside the company can experience it.

Google AR & VR Stories September 28

Live View is one of Google’s most promising augmented reality (AR) features and it will soon be faster to launch in Google Maps, while also adding nearby search.

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Google AR & VR Stories July 19

I/O 2022 closed with a very unexpected look at the company’s augmented reality efforts. Google announced today that it will “test AR prototypes in the real world” starting in August.

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Google AR & VR Stories May 11

Google’s platform for mobile augmented reality is available on 1.2 billion Android devices today. At I/O 2022, ARCore is getting foundational improvements to make it work faster and more reliably on the Pixel 6 and in Google Maps Live View. 

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To close out I/O 2022, Sundar Pichai very surprisingly previewed Google’s upcoming augmented reality efforts for glasses, starting with AR language translation.

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Google AR & VR Stories May 4

Following rumors, Google announced today that it has acquired microLED startup Raxium to join the Devices & Services team.

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Google AR & VR Stories March 16

Google is actively developing an operating system for AR hardware, and a deal to acquire microLED startup Raxium continues that work.

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Google AR & VR Stories March 3

In recent years, Google has pretty much shut down most of its earlier virtual reality efforts. However, it still owns VR game studio Owlchemy Labs, which is launching Cosmonious High later this month.

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Google AR & VR Stories January 20

Back in September, we spotted that Google was developing an “Augmented Reality OS” for an “innovative AR device.” A new report today reveals that Google is working on an AR headset with “Project Iris.”

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Google AR & VR Stories December 30, 2021

In recent years, Google has notoriously kept its work on augmented reality hardware secret. That has started to change recently, while a new report today provides explicit confirmation that “Google is working on a new iteration of smart glasses.”

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Google AR & VR Stories December 13, 2021

Compared to Apple and Facebook, Google has been very quiet about its plans for augmented reality glasses. That’s starting to change as Google is actively hiring to create an “Augmented Reality OS” for an unspecified “innovative AR device.”

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Google AR & VR Stories November 30, 2021

At I/O 2021 in May, Google unveiled Project Starline has a conferencing booth that can capture and display realistic 3D video. The company today shared more technical details about the effort and how it surpasses 2D calls. 

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Google AR & VR Stories November 17, 2021

Compared to Meta, Microsoft, Niantic, and a slew of other metaverse announcements, Google has been very quiet about its augmented reality plans in general. In a recent interview, Sundar Pichai gave his thoughts on the metaverse, but positioned Google’s future as a continuation of the core Search mission.

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Google AR & VR Stories November 11, 2021

An internal Google reorganization sees the company create a new group to oversee “high-potential, long-term projects.” Overseen by Clay Bavor, Google Labs includes AR & VR and Area 120.

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Google AR & VR Stories November 8, 2021

Ever since Mark Zuckerberg showed off Facebook’s – now Meta’s –  vision for the future of technology and social interaction, I’ve been trying to imagine what the Google equivalent would be. I’ve concluded that such a metaverse direction is a direct contradiction to Google’s modern vision of tech that assists.

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Google AR & VR Stories October 26, 2021

During the Alphabet Q3 2021 earnings call, Sundar Pichai was asked about augmented reality and the CEO shared some brief thoughts about what Google is working on in the AR area.

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Google AR & VR Stories August 2, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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 30, 2021

Google has announced that Maps will now offer indoor AR directions and can even favor eco-friendly navigation when pointing you from location to location.

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Google AR & VR Stories March 17, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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, 2021

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 October 1, 2020

Google Maps Live View uses augmented reality to overlay arrows, directions, and now landmarks over the real world to make navigating easier. The feature is getting a number of big updates today.

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Google AR & VR Stories September 8, 2020

The launch of Android 11 coincides with the quarterly Pixel Feature Drop. In addition to the general platform release, Google’s first-party devices pick up some exclusive features, with the most notable being Live View Location Sharing in Google Maps.

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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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