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Google’s hidden AR tool will blow your mind

Google AR animals
(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to surprises, Google plays a good game. From brilliantly entertaining Google Doodles to the most genius Google Easter Eggs, the Google team clearly like to get creative and delight users with hidden gems. And this most recent offering is no exception. 

Google AR animals is a hidden augmented reality feature that allows users to view a 3D image of a search result. On AR-enabled devices, the tool is accessed using Google Search, with the question: How big is a wolf (for example). If the animal in question is available, Google will return the usual statistics – height, length, mass etc – above an arrow that users can click to reveal a 'meet a life-sized wolf up close' option. Press that and voila! A 3D version of the animal appears in the room.

Google AR animals

Click the arrow to reveal the 3D model (Image credit: Future)

The 3D models themselves are a little crude (see our free 3D models to compare with other examples) however, they provide a realistic sense of an animal's scale (seriously though, who knew a wolf was that big?) and movement. As an artist, this is a brilliant reference resource, offering insight to animal behaviour and movement (without the risk of losing any limbs, always a plus).

Animals include a lion, tiger, bear, alpine goat, timberwolf, European hedgehogs, angler fish and Emperor penguin. Each carries out actions synonymous with the animal. For example, you can watch (and hear) a lion roar, wolf howl and giant panda enjoy a piece of bamboo.

The feature was recently discovered by Vimeo co-founder Zach Klein, who referred to it as 'magical'. 


As highlighted above, not only is this tool a brilliant art resource, but a super-fun (and highly addictive) feature to be enjoyed by all the family. 

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VR