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Google 3D Animals: How to use the cool AR feature at home



tiger-ar

Google has AR tigers and more.

Scott Stein / CNET

I have spent quarantine to create imaginary animals in my home. One thing that may have felt like a passing fad, but that still gets people̵

7;s attention (at least according to the new likes on my old Twitter thread about it) is this list of augmented reality animals that I dropped into the real world through Google search. It is right. AR animals, now that we all become at home people for a while and can not go to zoos or pet stores, is one thing. Google recently added even more AR-searchable stuff as skeletons, microscopic cell structures, but animals (and now, dinosaurs) is probably more adorable.

If you’ve been curious and haven’t tried it yet, I have some tips … whether you enjoyed watching Netflix smash hit or not Tiger King.

First, I saw some news that links to my Twitter thread. Then my son in first grade asked what another child did on his video chat at school: It turns out that she made a cat appear on her head and in her room, all via AR. It’s because of them, and you, that I’m giving you my 2020 version of How to Make Magic Animals Appear.

The easy way is directly below. Keep scrolling for two other methods to place virtual animals in your mixed reality world.

First, the easy way

Google placed 3D objects in Google search over a year ago. To find them, you need to search for the right ones on Google. Think of an animal. Enter it. See what happens. Google has many animals and also some space objects such as planets and satellites via NASA. And the list of 3D objects may increase, based on indications from Google and Apple.

First, make sure you have an AR-ready device. For iPhones and iPads, you need iOS 11 or later. And it’s not older than an iPhone 6S or SE, or a third generation iPad Air, or a fifth generation iPad or any iPad Pro. Or a seventh-generation iPod Touch. (Yes, Apple’s model name gets super confusing.)

Android phones must be ARCore compatible, which includes many models running Android 7 or later. Here is a useful list of all the phones that 9to5Google has compiled.

Then launch Google Chrome (or Safari on an iPhone or iPad), search for your pet – it does not have to be just a tiger – and somewhere on the page there will be a info box from Google that also has a “Show in 3D” button.

google-cat-ar-see

Do you see the “View in 3D” button? This is your AR link in Google Search.

Scott Stein / CNET

Click on it, and a viewer will be displayed showing where you can place your virtual animal. Move your phone around as instructed so that it can scan your floor. Leave some extra space to place it.

Congratulations – you have an AR animal!

cat-ar-google

Soooo cute.

Scott Stein / CNET

Pinch to zoom to make it bigger or smaller.

What happens if you do not see the 3D button? I’ve got people asking me this. You may be browsing in desktop mode. On iOS 13, in Safari, try tapping Aa icon in the search bar. If you see an option that says “request mobile site”, tap it. In Chrome, go to settings ( icon at the bottom right) and if you see “request mobile site”, tap on it.

Another tip: To record it, you can take a screenshot (press the power and volume button or the power and home button on an iPhone or iPad), or take a screenshot on iOS if you want. Pro Tip: You can add screen recording to your Control Center tools in the Control Center settings, allowing you to easily start and stop recordings and save them on your scroll. Or just be in the moment and enjoy seeing your pet friend.

Each Google AR 3D animal

I’ve hunted and found a bunch, but a larger test-and-error list compiled by 9to5Google includes:

  • Alligator
  • Fishermen fish
  • Ball python
  • Brown bear
  • Cat
  • Cheetah
  • Deer
  • Dog (bulldog, pomeranian, labrador retriever, rottweiler, pug)
  • Duck
  • Eagle
  • emperor penguin
  • Giant panda
  • Get
  • hedgehog
  • HORSE
  • Leopard
  • Lion
  • Macaw
  • Octopus
  • Raccoon
  • Shark
  • Shetlands pony
  • Snake
  • Tiger
  • Turtle
  • Wolf
sketchfab-scorpion-ar

Ahhhh, giant Sketchfab scorpion!

Scott Stein / CNET

Option 2: Even more animals

You can download some AR-compatible apps to try in the App Store or Google Play. A free app with lots of AR-compatible 3D objects is Sketchfab, an online 3D object repository that has its own app and has been recently updated to better support Apple’s AR. It’s a little harder to flip through, but there are lots of user-created things that can be let into your world.

I found a scorpion, many dinosaurs and more. However, this is not a good option for children: best to do with your children and veterinarian if there is something strange on Sketchfab that is not appropriate or too scary.

me-bear-snapchat-ar

My God, this bear.

Scott Stein / CNET

Option 3: Do not forget Snapchat

Snapchat’s very good face filters and AR effects also offer some animal transformations and disguises (or even room-changing effects, depending on the day). You need a Snapchat account, and I suggest parents do this with their children instead of having them play on their own – not all options may be suitable.

Once in Snapchat, the little smiley face to the right of the larger circle at the bottom provides face filters. You can browse through a lot of weird and fun experiments – again, parents, know the scary ones; this is not entirely child-friendly.

But you can try one and have fun and not record any of them. Or press the shutter button (circle) to snap or hold down to record a clip. When you’re done, you can save locally on your phone by tapping the “save” icon in the lower left corner of the screen, and it’s saved on your own photos so you don’t have to post anything online if you don’t want to.

It is difficult to invite a macaw while you are socially distant, so good that we have a solution for it.




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