Living room looking a bit too familiar right now? Google AR animals could be the answer. The design team at Google loves to get creative and spring unexpected surprises on its audience. From the brilliantly entertaining Google Doodles (opens in new tab) to the most genius Google Easter Eggs (opens in new tab), there are some great time-suckers hidden inside the search giant.
A lesser-known feature is Google AR, a hidden augmented reality tool that allows users to view a 3D image of a search result. On AR-enabled devices, the tool is accessed using Google Search, with a question, for example: How big is a wolf? If the animal is available, you'll get the usual stats – 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 ta da! A 3D version of the animal appears in the room. It's a great time to mix up the view and bring some wildlife inside.
The 3D models themselves are a little crude (see our free 3D models (opens in new tab) 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'.
My 5yo asked, “How big is a wolf?”So I Google it... Google’s first result is the option (in browser!) to place a realistic wolf in the room with us so we can walk around it and see for ourselves.Magical. The closest I have felt to a Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer. pic.twitter.com/ZPDpAAUCOWJanuary 15, 2020
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.