Google Search brings AR Aussie animals to life – CNET

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Koala cuteness in your world, courtesy of Google Search.

Jeff Overs/Getty Images

Get ready for your mobile devices to get overrun by adorable animals from Down Under.

Google launched a feature Wednesday that’ll use augmented reality to deliver eight life-size animals native to Australia to you. The feature allows people to visualize the detail, movement and scale of some of Australia’s most iconic creatures, including the koala, emu, kangaroo, wombat, kookaburra, echidna, quokka and platypus.

To summon one of the AR animals, merely perform a Google search by its name in your mobile Android or iOS browser. Tap the “View in 3D” button at the bottom of the page and then tap “View in your space.”

Point your device at ground level and your animal will appear on your screen. You can even use your camera button to capture photos and videos of the event.

AR animals have become more popular as the coronavirus has forced folks to become stay-at-home people for a while. Google began putting 3D objects into Google search over a year ago and recently added even more AR searchable things, like skeletons and microscopic cell structures.

Google has a lot of animals, including dinosaurs, and also some space objects, like planets and satellites, via NASA. And the list of 3D objects may increase, based on indications from Google and Apple.

To be sure you can view the objects, you have to determine whether you have an AR-ready device. For iPhones and iPads, you’ll need iOS 11 or higher. Android phones need to be ARCore compatible, which includes a lot of models running Android 7 or later.

CNET’s Scott Stein contributed to this report.

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