A fun new feature augmented reality feature landed on Google search last summer, which let you see what a variety of animals would look like if they were chilling in your living room. It’s a pretty cool feature, particularly for children, but we didn’t think a great deal of it when it first launched. However, with people all over the world pretty much house-bound (and very bored) at the moment, it’s got a whole new lease of life. Here’s how to use it.
Let’s get the boring things out of the way first though. This feature only works on ARCore supported devices.
If you use an Android phone or tablet, it will need to run one of the more recent versions of the operating system − depending on what your device is, that could be Android 7 or possibly an even more recent version. of Android. If you’re an iPhone or iPad user, it needs to be running iOS 11 or a more recent version.
You can find a list of verified ARCore-supporting phones and tablets here. If you use a new device that isn’t on the list, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it doesn’t support ARCore − chances are Google just hasn’t got around to adding it yet.
Now, the fun stuff. On your (eligible) phone or tablet, search for one of the following animals on Google:
- Angler fish
- Brown bear
- Dog (Labrador Retriever, Pug, Rottweiler)
- Emperor penguin
- Shetland pony
Right below the Wikipedia excerpt, you’ll see a CGI image of said animal, alongside the option to view it “in 3D”. Tap the option and you’ll see a CGI creature on your phone, rotating so you can view it from all angles. You can also zoom and drag your finger around to change angles to view it from above or below − also, don’t forget to turn the sound up.
But it gets even better if you tap the ‘View in your space’ button below it. Once the animation loads you’ll see a true-to-life-size panda in your actual surroundings.
You’ll have to move your phone around to give Google a look at your surroundings and the size of the space you’re working with (here’s the list of data points it needs to figure out), but once it’s done that, you’ll be able to see what the animal would look like in your home.
Better still, you can move it around, resize it (tiny shark or massive penguin, anyone?) and, thanks to a feature called ‘object blending’, you can take the fun to a whole new level and see what it would look like if it was partially hidden behind your settee or bed.